What Everyone Needs to Understand About Black Women and Planned Parenthood8/07/2015
by Cynthia R. Greenlee for EBONY he most recent anti-Planned Parenthood video took aim at Black w...
by Cynthia R. Greenlee for EBONY
he most recent anti-Planned Parenthood video took aim at Black women, communities and history. Just days after what would have been Emmett Till’s 74th birthday, Students for Life unveiled a video in which clinic staff allegedly scrutinized an aborted fetus. “Call him Emmett,” suggested the video, and make him this century’s civil rights symbol — just like the 14-year-old Emmett Till's murder by White Mississippi racists galvanized the modern civil rights movement.
Let’s call the video what it is — the latest in the anti-abortion movement’s appropriation of civil rights and its crass manipulations of history. And it won't be the last because abortion opponents have long capitalized on the very real history of how exploiting Black bodies has been foundational to the United States, whether we talk about slavery, medical experimentation or mass incarceration. But while "pro-lifers" seek to sway Black people by acknowledging the past, they spin history and foster myths and misconceptions about not just Planned Parenthood, but also Black people's responses to various reproductive and sexual-health issues.
Here's a guide to help you sift through the distortions behind such videos and the fury of anti-abortion Tweets targeting Black women (i.e. the #unbornlivesmatter hashtag.)
1. This isn't the first time that anti-abortion groups have effectively called Black women murderers.
2. Abortion foes say: Abortion clinics target Black communities by situating clinics in Black neighborhoods.
3. Myth: Black communities are inherently anti-abortion and anti-birth control.
4. If you read “Hotep” propaganda — the outraged thoughts of latter-day male Black cultural nationalists who frequently confuse Black liberation with Black female submission — you would think that early Black nationalists were uniformly against birth control.
5.The reproductive numbers game hasn't gone away — it shows up in claims that there are more black children aborted than born in the United States.
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Cynthia R. Greenlee is a writer and historian. You can follow her on Twitter @CynthiaGreenlee.