the big picture

*warning: graphic, possibly triggering video linked to "sigh"*


this is the second time in recent weeks that i've seen the "planned parenthood is killing us!" thing.

i'm already sick of it. 

so...how come you get to appeal to folks' emotions while maintaining absolute silence about how black women also have less access to full information about reproductive health and adequate mental health services?

hell, even if you do have insurance or whatever, the u.s. ain't all that great with infant mortality rates compared with the rest of the industrialized world.

what about the foster "care" system that's chock full of kids of color that no one's adopting/caring for? they're getting funneled into the military and worse, you know.

if you really care about black women, their health and their babies, this misses many crucial points.

no one--and i mean no one--can talk about stopping abortion without simultaneously stopping domestic violence, sexual abuse, poverty, rape and a whole host of other issues that plague black women.

we also need accurate information about our bodies so that we can fully care for ourselves.

can't have that both ways, either.

yes, i am firmly pro-choice.  when, how, and whether a woman becomes a mother are issues that are between that woman, the deity of her understanding, and her healthcare provider(s).  period.

but that has nothing to do with why things like this piss me off so much.

to me, messages and media like this do not feel any more tied to my womanly welfare than ones that would suggest i need to tie myself to the nearest brotha and hang on for the ride.  actually, they seem like a backdoor way to keep women barefoot and pregnant.  or trapped in the good old "virgin/whore" dichotomy.  maybe under the thumb of male dominance and all other sorts of nasty oppressions.

yes, the ghost of eugenics is an issue, but it hasn't been a {true} social movement since about 100 years ago. even if i give you the benefit of the doubt on that one, we also know that living in a racist, white supremacist context has resulted in all kinds of psychological and spiritual maladies that we have not yet dealt with effectively as a people.

what does bringing more babies into the equation--at this moment in time--truly solve?

did you know pregnancy and birth can be triggering for women with abusive pasts?  are you only paying attention to that after they've become pregnant, or are you trying to save girls who are suffering now?

yes, i love children. without a doubt, they are beautiful, wondrous blessings. when you're prepared for them.

and i'm not just talking finances.

the moment you "save" a baby only to leave that child's mother in the lurch when she needs support, higher education, guidance, employment, child care, shelter, and all the things necessary to raise a child well in this world, you're dooming that baby anyway.

but i guess none of that matters.
addendum: for more on this topic, including stats and such, click here.


swirlgirls said...

Tell it! It becomes a very frustrating conversation when people refuse to look at the bigger picture of childrearing and why a woman would choose an abortion. Our high abortion rates are not in a vaccuum...and the anti-choice movement has done a spectacular job of keeping the issue of black women and abortion isolated from larger health and justice issues. It comes down to control of women's bodies, especially when it comes to women of color. And in the end, we get blamed for having too many children and being "welfare queens" or we are careless murderers for ending an unintended pregnancy. Thank you for raising this issue, I stand with you in frustration.

sugar sista said...

thank you for understanding...

i totally understand the emotional response. really. but until/unless we get past that, we won't find true, lasting solutions to the problems we face.

swirlgirls said...

You are right. I had a conversation today particularly about the need for more coordinated responses to the same arguments that are recycled by by the anti-choice community. We have to continue to organize and communicate the larger issues. However, it's ironic that we have to be the logical ones when the other side seems to only appeal to people's basest emotions.