a Black woman report to the local consumer affairs reporter that her
mentally and developmentally challenged sister had come up pregnant
at the facility entrusted for her care. Under current and proposed
anti-abortion legislation, Sista Doe had no recourse for this
situation but to have a baby by an unknown rapist in their
midst—staff or resident.
family’s focus was putting heat on the nursing facility and not
being a poster-issue for the abortion rights movement. As a
reproductive justice advocate, I am compelled to lift up the family’s
plight as a double injustice.
predicted some years ago that these conservative folks would make
being a “gleam in yo daddy’s eye” the start of
conception. Fast forward and we see the
aggressive attack on abortion rights by Republican lawbreakers.
Several southern states have just passed “heartbeat”
laws, a draconian measure that culminates a multi-faceted strategy to
slam dunk the 14th
Amendment in the trash bin of U.S. history.
Governor Mike Parson jubilantly looks forward to signing the
anti-abortion bill passed by his GOP posse. Parson claims he wants
to make Missouri “one of the strongest pro-life states in the
country.” Being pro-life does not begin and end with abortion.
When it comes to health and well-being indicators of all Missouri
citizens, this state is often at the bottom. Deal with that, Mr.
governor just signed the harshest anti-abortion legislature yet. The
state needs to be addressing its
murderous conditions in its dungeons called prisons. The Department
of Justice has spotlighted the inhumane and unconstitutional
conditions in the state’s prison system. Its detailed report
outlines cases of inmate deaths, suicides, rapes, extortion of the
families of prisoners, and rampant contraband weapons and drugs—with
prison guards leading the lawlessness.
know this is not about the sanctity of life as these so-called
pro-lifers claim. Most of these legislatures have ignored life-saving
programs by killing any proposed legislation or de-funding social
service programs. The quality of life indicators are at the bottom in
most of these southern states.
the years, the religious right and other conservative forces have
used three basic shrewd and lethal tactics to get to the destruction
of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court case that led to the 14th
Amendment in 1973.
of those tactics is to constantly chip away at the law on the state
level. For the last couple of decades, anti-choice legislation has
been at the top of the Republican’s state and federal agendas.
The was not a whole-sale attack due to the public’s
overwhelming support of a women’s right to choose. With trump
in office, all that’s about civil and human rights have become
a punching bag.
above tactic included defunding of abortion clinics which also
included clinics like Planned Parenthood who provided a host of
services; abortions make up about three percent of its services.
tactic is the fear whip. Women seeking abortion services often must
pass through a double line of shoutin’, shamin’
anti-abortion protestors. For graphic effect, some hold gigantic
posters of mutilated fetuses.
sickening part of the fear tactic goes beyond targeting clinics,
doctors, other medical personnel and innocent bystanders literally
have bull’s eyes on their backs. Since the legalization of
abortion, extremists have resorted to arson, stabbings, shootings,
stalking, and bombings to get their way.
George Tiller was one of the few doctors in the country to perform
late-term abortions. He was harassed and threatened for years. Then
he was assassinated in his church—not at his clinic. The
closing of his clinic soon followed.
effective tactics have led to a dramatic drop in the number of
abortion services. Missouri now has only one facility and that’s
the Planned Parenthood in St. Louis.
anti-abortion army is not just white zealots although there’s
too many white men who are the public face of that movement. There
are also misguided Blacks who cry genocide every so often. The last
cry was met with the “Trust Black Women” campaign
spearheaded by women of color groups who fight for reproductive
tactics support the strategy and ultimate goal of getting Roe v. Wade
before the conservative U.S. Supreme Court where it will be
overturned once and for all.
so, I ask you. Put aside what Amendment 14 is all about and just
focus on the fact that it is a constitutional amendment. If these
so-called lawmakers are successfully at erasing Amendment 14 from the
Constitution, other amendments such as Amendment 13 which gave women
the right to vote could also be in the crosshairs.
a Black, voting woman, I have serious concerns about my right to
exist as a free citizen with all the protected fundamental rights
including the power over my own body.
up and join the movements to support women and to protect
reproductive rights. There will
be plenty of rallies nationally, but we need to develop some
effective counter tactics that make our demands real on the state
level. The institutions created to protect those rights must be held