Lack of facts leaves hole in Porter’s abortion argument

Dear Editor:

I would like to offer a few rational alternatives to Porter’s interpretation of the facts he put forward in his column “Abortion is a form of black genocide.” The statistic that black women have three times the number of abortions as white women in no way correlates to a white conspiracy promoting black genocide. Consider the other possibilities for this phenomenon.

Among others, black women may simply have three times the unwanted pregnancies of white women. He offers no percentages of unwanted pregnancies which are terminated, and I could not find any either. This could be due to many cultural differences, including the practice of safer sex. Are unmarried white women more likely to use condoms or other birth control? He seems to imply so when he blames a tragic lack of sex education in schools.

Another possible reason for these statistics is that black women may be more willing to exercise their right to choose to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. Perhaps their political views are more liberal, which they are. Perhaps they feel less pressure to carry the baby to term and put it up for adoption, as many religious and right-to-life groups pressure young women to do.

He could have made a more productive argument convincing all people to practice safer sex or abstinence in order to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, or for political pressure to make our society a more equal place so that fewer black women feel that they do not have the resources to have the child.

He also argues that Kerry and Bush both supported abortion during their election campaigns. Bush is known to be anti-abortion. He skirted the issue during the election campaign because it may have hurt his poll numbers if he came out too strongly against abortion. Kerry was pro-choice if for no other reason than that it was a main attraction for Democrat voters.

And if either of these two men would be a part of a white conspiracy to commit black genocide, I think it would be Bush. Not only can black women choose to abort, we must remember that they must choose it or it would not happen.

This means that the black genocide, if there were such a thing, is being perpetrated by black women. I do not mean that this is so – I only wish to point out one of the major flaws in Porter’s argument. While socioeconomic pressures may be persuading them to terminate their pregnancy, and while this situation may be in small part due to white people wanting to maintain the status quo, I have never seen a campaign by white people towards black women to try to convince them to have an abortion.

My main problem with this entire argument, though, is that Porter wants to take away my right to choose because of a conspiracy theory. He has done a disservice to women, including black women. He has completely failed to prove that “abortion is obviously a plan by the government to exterminate the black race in America.”

The right to choose was fought for in the Supreme Court in the 70s. It was not a decision passed by Congress, or a law drafted by a politician. We are already in danger of losing this right with Bush’s court-packing policies, and I can’t stand to see someone disseminate more ignorance on the topic. If he redirected his anger in a more productive way, such as stopping unwanted pregnancies so that abortions became a non-issue or towards welfare reform so that all women felt able to care for the babies they would have aborted, he would be furthering his cause rather than assaulting women’s rights.

Julie Craig

Senior English major