The hypocrisy of “pro-life” views

By Elisheva Azarael

Wednesday evening VOX UMass hosted a candlelight Vigil in Solidarity With Planned Parenthood Colorado Springs.  (Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian)
Wednesday evening VOX UMass hosted a candlelight Vigil in Solidarity With Planned Parenthood Colorado Springs. (Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian)

When I say that I don’t want any children, my grandparents often laugh, saying that you’re supposed to have children when you’re married. My aunt says I have “no business not having kids.” My other aunt says she doesn’t support “baby-killers,” meaning Planned Parenthood to her. My grandmother is also against Planned Parenthood, and this is no surprise due to my Christian upbringing.

But now that Donald Trump is on his way to the Oval Office, the debate on children, marriage and women’s rights seems like it’s about to start a party war in Washington. Trump’s position has apparently been wishy-washy. He said that he supports some of Planned Parenthood’s services, but not abortion. Though this may seem like a compromise, the part where Republicans and Democrats shake hands because everybody’s happy, this is far from an acceptable alternative.

Other health rights besides abortion are about to be under attack, as are women’s very lives. There are women who will need abortions for potentially fatal health reasons . For example, when an ectopic pregnancy occurs, the fertilized egg settles somewhere outside of the uterus, the part where a baby has to grow. And there’s no other place a baby can develop, so ectopic fetuses have to be removed. If they’re not, they put women at risk for fallopian tube damage, complete rupture and life-threatening internal bleeding.

And yes, I know about the move Obama recently made to make Planned Parenthood funding permanent, but anything is reversible with the law, anything. All a president really needs to turn something around are supporters who are noisy enough and some Supreme Court justices who are as passionate as the president is concerning a certain viewpoint.

Also, what does this mean for women who need reproductive organ removal for reasons such as cancer?

I get the feeling that many anti-Planned Parenthood people are ridiculously uninformed about these types of problems. Many of them think all women who use these services are rolling into these clinics to run away from some child-raising responsibility, when that’s simply a lie.

A recent study found that, in 2013, over half of women who underwent abortions were what author Amanda Marcotte calls “economically disadvantaged.” Most patients were women of color. And in 2015, Black women still had a higher rate of abortions than any other racial group above the poverty line. A young Black teen interviewed by The Atlantic said she was afraid of becoming the stereotypical single Black mother.

That’s another thing that infuriates me about all of this. Women like me are deemed sexually loose “welfare queens,” when only a little over 25 percent of SNAP (food stamp) recipients are Black. And with people like Bill O’Reilly depicting us as women with baby fever who have forehead tattoos  (I live in a predominantly Black community and have yet to see someone with such a tattoo) and suggesting that Obama should advertise how not to get pregnant to young Black girls (What’s Bill’s plan for white women with children born outside of marriage? They do exist), I’m left confused as how so many anti-Planned Parenthood aficionados call themselves “pro-life.”  You can’t shame single Black women for having children, then deny them to right to terminate the children you made it so clear they shouldn’t have conceived at all. That makes no logical sense.

I’m pro-life, meaning that I don’t think women or children should have to suffer further poverty and discrimination (in our case) when it can be prevented. For us Black women, our sons are likelier to die by homicide between ages 15 and 34 than the sons of other ethnic groups. Our daughters are six times likelier to be punished in schools than white girls, and that’s higher than the Black-to-white boy ratio. Our infant mortality rate is nearly twice that of white women’s. The list of all the reasons for why we should be kicking Planned Parenthood’s doors down to get any contraceptives we can, while they’re legal, literally has taken up entire books and museums. Even history itself has shown that it’s sensible.

I’m considering going all the way and getting a tubal ligation. And though there’s recently been cries about doctors not performing ligation for oppressive paternalistic reasons, I’m not worried. Based off of this country’s history of forced sterilization of people of color in places such as California, Mississippi, Texas, Puerto Rico, and more, I should undoubtedly get a yes.

You can lynch me, tell me I’m nothing and try to shame me all because of my color.  But what you can’t do is try to terminate my offspring, then get mad at me for beating you to the punch.

Elisheva Azarael is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at [email protected]