Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Blacks and Abortion

I found this little something-or-other via Real Clear Politics under the title "How Obama lets us down on abortion" or somesuch. The real name of the article is "The Impact of Abortion on African Americans". It is, quite simply, a black-solidarity call to oppose abortion. Unabashedly pro-life, it does not descent into moralistic shouting which means that the statements made in it can be legitimately critiqued.

A quote will give a bit of the tenor of the article:
Although African Americans make up 12.4 percent of the U.S. population we make up 35% of the abortions
Note the 'we'. The article has black solidarity and unity running constantly through it. The reasons given to oppose abortion are not conservative or morality-based, though I do detect a certain abortion-is-murder mentality to the article. The real reason to oppose abortion, the author argues, is specifically black:
Even though abortion usually
happens as the result of a voluntary action by the expectant mother
(but not always), it has long been suspected that certain organizations
have encouraged blacks in particular to have abortions.

"Which organizations would these be?", you might ask:
Parenthood, which has long been suspected by many of placing its
clinics in areas with high concentrations of African Americans, and
whose founder once spoke at a Ku Klux Klan meeting and who spoke at
another point with Nazi anthropologist Eugen Fischer, stated that it had taken "corrective action" against the individual.

Despite the conspiracy-theory suggestions and the obligatory mentioning of Nazis and the KKK, the tone remains level-headed. When someone says such things as this but doesn't bluster, you must actually answer their statements with your own.

What the article gets wrong is the cause of abortion. It's not availability of clinics, though this does have an influence. When asked why they choose to have an abortion, the plurality of women pick, as the most important reason, 'could not support child financially.' {This is from a Time Magazine article about a year ago, I cannot find a link to it} Other important reasons include: 'unstable living arrangement', 'unstable partnership', and 'too young to take care of a child.'

The fact is that African-Americans are more often in the situation that causes women to want an abortion. It's not that they're black, it's that blacks are poor and/or financially unstable in much higher proportions than whites, at least in urban areas where clinics are more available.

So even though some people do approve of the overwhelmingly disproportionate number of black women who have abortions [They exist. I have met them.] the purpose of supporting choice for women is not to keep any racial group from out-breeding whites.

As to the question of how to end the racial imbalance of abortions, the answer is to find some way to make real lasting wealth available to African-Americans who are in a bad way. This explicitly does not mean some kind of welfare payment, since that does not fit my definition of 'lasting wealth.' This issue is far too large to deal with in one post, but I've done what I came to do: refute the notion that blacks must stand together in opposing abortion because of its effects on the black community and population. As with any group of people, no political affiliation is required by ones race. Meanwhile, for those who say that only liberal causes play identity politics, I suggest you take a good hard look at "The Values Voter's Blog."


Anonymous said...

abortion should be an option that is safe. take it out of congress and leave it in the drs office. you can be against abortion but still allow it for others. in a perfect world every pregnancy would end up with a healthy and wanted child. read freakanomics on abortion in romania.

born to run

Zeno said...

i have read Freakanomics. Though some people have called their math into question, that's not the point of the post. Neither is the question of who can/should legislate abortion. It was simply to address this particular black-solidarity claim about racial imbalance in abortion. I will eventually get around to some of these other questions though.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your level-headed sharing of the information you uncovered on this subject.

I believe we need to stop politicizing this issue and let a woman and her Dr. decide what to do with her own body. Why are (mostly) MEN in government deciding for women and their families??? BLACK OR WHITE??

I remember when Bill Baird toured the country in 1970 or so showing what was used for back alley abortions (coat hangers, ugh)and at that time women worked together to give ourselves a choice.

Although there are many young women who ARE interested in this issue and working to make sure we don't lose this basic freedom, I DO wish more was being done.
College students, take action before it is too late!! Do you want a Supreme Court that denies you THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE???

A 50-something who believes in CHOICE

Anonymous said...

I agree with the woman in your post of McCain who commented "it is between a woman and her doctor" but take it even further to say it is between a "woman" period. I don't agree that a "financial reason" is a good reason to have one, because birth control pills given out by the clinics are cheaper. However, it is not for me to judge. I am a woman and I take care of myself - however I see fit and whether or not the rest of the world agrees with me.

"There comes a time"

TVV said...

I am the author of that article. I don't play "identity politics" - and I care about ALL life (born and unborn and of every color and ethnicity). I've written other articles about abortion, and most of them deal with the actual statistics, including the statistics for the reasons why people are having abortions (the ones you were looking for). I do, however, attack the argument of choice by a comparison between the practices of abortion and slavery. I also talk about different theories about when life begins.

All that said, though, even though I have deep feelings on abortion and a lot of statistics and provable biological facts to explain part of why I feel that way, I don't think we should bluster and fight. I respect the rights of people who support abortion to disagree with me (I used to be one of them and I have many of them in my family). We should be able to have rational discussions and with a respectful tone without going ballistic on each other. There's just no need for it and nothing gets accomplished this way. And I actually don't see most people who are pro-choice as being evil people and don't apply other judgmental terms to them either. But I think they're wrong. And if anyone is willing to discuss it, I'll calmly explain why.

Have a great day!!

TVV said...

And here are the reasons, according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, for why abortions are happening.

Most of the reasons have to deal with the unwanted effects of raising the child whose heart has already started beating. But of course, there are options other than either raising a child or aborting the child. Many parents would do anything to adopt. But the number of American babies available for adoption has dropped significantly - in part because of abortion.

Having a baby would dramatically change my life 74%

Can't afford a baby now 73%

Don't want to be a single mother/relationship problems 48%

Done with childbearing 38%

Not ready for a child (or another child) 32%

Don't want people to know I had sex or am pregnant 25%

Don't feel mature enough to raise a child (or another child) 22%

Husband/partner wants me to abort 14%

Possible health problem with my unborn baby 13%

I have physical health problems 12%

My parents want me to abort 6%

I was a victim of rape 1%

I was a victim of incest 0.5%

jdgent said...

The problems doesn't lie with abortionists because they go where the business is. The problem lies with the moral decadence within black society such as lazy and shiftless black males disregarding their responsibility to the children they help to sire. And quit blaming slavery. Check your history. Every race, including europeans, were subjected to being slaves. Grow up, quit whining and try to resolve your own problems through self effort instead of a government handout.

TVV said...

I think the comment jdgent made was pretty ignorant. Let's get a few things straight.

I never blamed anything on slavery. I never blamed anything on "white people" (a wide group of people that includes folks like my brother-in-law and my Pastor - yeah, I'm a raging radical). I pointed out facts and tried to do so in a very deliberate and narrative fashion.

The one time - in a different post - that I even mention slavery is comparing the instituion with the practice of abortion. Both involve a situation in which one person considers another living thing whose humanity is in dispute to be his/her "property" and subject to their own will, with the object of dispute having no will, legal voice or recognized rights of their own. But I'm not alone in making that comparison. A lot of white people who oppose abortion also see the similarities and make that comparison.

The author was incorrect in their assertion that this was some type of "call to unity" or whatever. I've written about six or seven lengthy posts on abortion. Two of them mention race in any way. For the most part, I mention it from another point of view. I do believe that life begins at conception and believe that abortion is murder. But I also assure you that I'm just as concerned about the prospect of a white baby being killed through abortion as I am of a black baby being killed. But I mention the statistics of abortion with African American because in the black community it is at an epidemic level. And this is an epedimic that our elected leaders are not recognizing.

jdgent, you should check out my blog. I talk about a lot of things other than abortion, like for example, tax reform, border security, Election 2008, and some other things. You might learn something about certain topics that you weren't already aware of. And you might learn something about people that you didn't know.

Speaking of tax reform, I mention this often in my blog because, jdgent, I do pay taxes, just like most people of all races. And I pay income taxes because I have an income. Because I work. I don't get anything from the government and neither do most black people or most white people. In fact, when you consider my $30,000 share of the national debt, I give more than my share, as do most people.

About the "lazy, shiftless" black men you mention - I will say this. The fatherhood crisis is heavily impacting the black community. However, since 1970, the percentage of white kids growing up without fathers has increased by roughly 500%-600%. The rate of increase of fatherlessness in whites is actually greater than the rate of increase among blacks. And so, rather than judging anyone else (and please note - I condemn abortion but take great lengths to NOT condemn anyone. It's not my business to do that), you need to make sure that you yourself are doing the right things. In other words, if you have children and are a man, I hope you are taking care of them yourself.

I'm not trying to insult you here, jdgent. But whenever you make wide, sweeping judgements about an entire large group of people, you are guaranteed to make mistakes. I also think that some of your assumptions are incorrect and really hope that you learn more before you make a similar comment.

profumo ai feromoni said...

Interesting discussion. I do agree that it should definitely not be a racial discussion in the way that that would make the decision to impose it or not. But we should think about why black people does it more and what that says. For example the poverty issue.