Thursday, February 10, 2005
More on "black genocide" and abortion
So I've been thinking more about the charge of "black genocide" against the abortion industry. Here's the relevant empirical fact: American black women have abortions disproportionately more than other American women. Certain elements on the Right want to use this fact to characterize the abortion industry as committing a genocide against black people -- after all, every fetus that is aborted by a black woman would turn into a black person if it survied. If abortion involves killing people, then abortion kills a disproportionate number of black people. (Even if it doesn't, it still leads to a disproportionate decrease in the black population.) Here's a question: why characterize black people as victims of abortion in a case like this? If you believe that abortion is murder, then why aren't you condemning the black women who are more likely than other women to murder their unborn babies? It seems to me that the data in question does suggest that abortion can be thought of a civil rights issue, but in the opposite direction than the one the "black genocide" crowd is pushing. Here's an utterly uncontroversial claim: an outlaw of abortion would limit the freedom of women. The position of the Right is that such an outlaw would only limit women from murdering children, which is a perfectly appropriate thing to limit them from doing. But it should be agreed to by all half-reasonable parties that a ban on an abortion would limit women's freedom, recognizing that it may still be an open question whether that's appropriate or not. Black women choose to have abortions more than other women do. So a ban on abortion would disproportionately limit the freedom of black women. (Maybe instead of victimizing black infants, the Right should be enquiring into why so many black mothers are murdering their babies.) Seriously, if I were the Right, I would want to downplay the high incidence of black abortion, not emphasize it. Weird.
Posted by Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa at 2/10/2005 07:38:00 PM