While the debate over recent abortion bans in states like Kentucky, Ohio, Alabama, and Georgia has seen criticism focused mostly on the older, white men who wrote and have supported them, it’s important to note the number of white women who have been complicit in the oppression of women’s rights to control their own bodies and reproductive health decisions.
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Yes the anti-abortion movement is primarily about controlling women’s bodies under the premise (for many, sincere) of saving lives, and yes this law is primarily the work of white men HOWEVER a white woman sponsored the bill and a white woman signed it into law. As we’re resisting, let us also call out the complicity of the white women who made this awful moment possible, and which–make no mistake–WILL lead to the unnecessary and avoidable deaths of women, a disproportionate number of whom will be poor and/or black. Speak up. Show up. Don’t give up. Donate to @yellowfund, @plannedparenthood, @arc_southeast, @abortionfunds, @whoohio, @napawf, @gwafund, and the Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund. #Regram from @marjoriegubelmann, @rachael_britt, @rachel.cargle, @paulscheer, @berniesanders
Hollywood actress Anne Hathaway is one of those noting that white men are not solely responsible for this oppression. Ignoring the fact that black women are three times more likely to die as a result of pregnancy and childbirth, white women have also been some of the loudest voices in the room on the pro-life arguments. Hathaway called out this complicity on Instagram.
‘YES THE ANTI-ABORTION MOVEMENT IS PRIMARILY ABOUT CONTROLLING WOMEN’S BODIES UNDER THE PREMISE (FOR MANY, SINCERE) OF SAVING LIVES, AND YES THIS LAW IS PRIMARILY THE WORK OF WHITE MEN HOWEVER A WHITE WOMAN SPONSORED THE BILL AND A WHITE WOMAN SIGNED IT INTO LAW. AS WE’RE RESISTING, LET US ALSO CALL OUT THE COMPLICITY OF THE WHITE WOMEN WHO MADE THIS AWFUL MOMENT POSSIBLE, AND WHICH–MAKE NO MISTAKE–WILL LEAD TO THE UNNECESSARY AND AVOIDABLE DEATHS OF WOMEN, A DISPROPORTIONATE NUMBER OF WHOM WILL BE POOR AND/OR BLACK. SPEAK UP. SHOW UP. DON’T GIVE UP.’
Days after eight white women and 43 white men yelled “Roll Tide!” before voting to pass the nation’s harshest abortion ban, companies are already changing plans on expanding into Alabama, decisions which will surely hit black communities the hardest: https://t.co/YjjgszkVZC pic.twitter.com/6Rsdm3q5GM
— The Root (@TheRoot) May 22, 2019
It’s important to point this out as 2020 looms, reminding voters that choosing female candidates who focus on improving the lives of white women while promoting policies that harm black women is contradictory to any feminist stance. While having equal representation in government positions of power is important, ensuring that candidates are supportive of issues that affect all women is crucial, particularly in a time where women’s bodily autonomy and right to control their own bodies is under attack.
— The Atlantic (@TheAtlantic) May 23, 2019
Fighting the war on women most effectively requires acknowledging that not all women are affected by restrictive policies equally. It also requires taking a hard look at how women view these policies and weigh their effects. The fact is that white women make up a large base of support for evangelical Christian GOP voters, and they’re woefully failing to acknowledge how that support affects women as a whole.
The Atlantic writes that:
‘Strong support from most white women, especially those who identify as evangelical Christians, has helped Republicans dominate local government in the states passing the most restrictive measures, from Alabama and Georgia to Kentucky and Missouri. In some of those states, polling shows that opposition to legal abortion is higher among white women than among white men.’
Black women are three times more likely than white women to die of causes related to pregnancy.
Denying people access to desired abortions while failing to adequately address these disparities will only result in more bad outcomes. https://t.co/r89I1w4uIN
— ACLU (@ACLU) May 18, 2019