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Southern Religion

How would criminalization of abortion help black women/children?

FindLaw’s Sherry F. Colb writes about the “Black Children Are An Endangered Species” billboards:

But what might one do to address the abortion disparity? The anti-abortion movement seeks to criminalize abortion and to persuade people to work toward criminalization. In the meantime, the movement also tries to discourage individual women from seeking abortions. If the billboard’s audiences wish to do something to help the “endangered” black child, however, and accordingly seek to criminalize abortion, this move will not obviously do anything to empower the African-American community.

Criminalizing the termination of pregnancy would not provide a magic solution to the disparities. In the wake of legislation banning abortion, black women seeking abortions would not suddenly want to take their pregnancies to term, nor would they find affordable the prospect of an expanding family. Families that are pessimistic about the lives their potential children would face would not magically become optimistic on this score. Rather, the only thing likely to change with criminalization is that an African-American woman who wanted an abortion would have a more difficult time getting one, and, as a result, might fall prey to the back-alley or might give birth to children she did not want and did not feel equipped to have.

Read the rest here.

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March 8, 2010 - Posted by | Health, Law, Religion | ,

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