Reversing Roe: What Will This Look Like For Black Women

By Monie B Positive

When I tell you I have been in my feelings these pasts couple of days after watching “Reversing Roe,” a documentary on Netflix, that's precisely what I mean. We all know about the supreme court case of Roe v Wade that legalized abortions in 1973. In the documentary white men in politics along with white Christian groups are fighting to have the law overturned by spouting religious rhetoric about the Bible, God, and how abortion is a sin. You know all the makings of a guilt trip, and white Christians are pushing their agenda through lawmakers with votes and money. Here we have decrepit old white men who do not have a uterus or know what it is to carry a child telling women, more so black women, what they can and can not do with their reproductive organs possibly sending them back into hiding which could mean death if there are no abortion clinics.

    Regardless of whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, a Christian, or an Atheist, it does not negate the fact that women who choose to terminate a pregnancy need a place to go where they can get safe medical treatment and not be judged or shamed. The south and Midwest is the focal point where the debate is taking place, especially in bible belt states such as Mississippi, who have managed to shut down numerous abortion clinics already. Since we came to this country, black women have not had the right to their bodies by way of white men and their ideologies. Whether that be rape, bearing children we did not want, or being told what to wear, black women have not and still do not to a degree, have a say over their bodies and what we choose to do with them. Black women have always been looked at as being sexually

promiscuous due to our genitalia and large backsides, never viewed as pure and innocent the way white women are.  So the fact that white men are fighting to have this law overturned as a means of continuing to police our bodies is extremely offensive to me. As you know white people have a declining birth rate unlike us which is part of the reason, they are fighting so hard to have this law reversed. If you are a black woman what does overturning Roe mean for you?.

    Overturning this decision would mean women will be taking drastic measures to rid themselves of unwanted pregnancies. These pro-life radicals love to give out false information saying so many women die from abortions performed and how they are killing their babies all the way up to the 3rd trimester, which is untrue. Ninety percent of abortions are done in the 1st trimester with a fatality rate of less than 1%. Those numbers sound better to me than women performing at home abortions by throwing themselves down the stairs, using coat hangers, mixing whatever drugs they have in the medicine cabinets, or going to get abortions done in someone’s basement. Either way, women will find a way to have abortions in this country, there is no way to get around it. There are plenty of people who do not agree with homosexuality, but that does not mean they should be denied jobs, healthcare, and all the things that will ensure they have a decent life. It boggles my mind that none of these politicians and Christian pro-lifers are thinking about the woman who is bipolar or schizophrenic and does not have the mental capability to care for a child. Or the woman who is on her 3rd child and just can not afford to take care of another. Or the 17-year-old high school student who was raped and does not view having this baby as a “blessing from God.” Or the woman who says, “I have no desire to be a mother whatsoever because it is not what I want for my life. Therefore I choose to terminate this pregnancy.” Do you see what I’m saying?

I could go on and on with many different reasons for women needing abortions that those in power do not think of. They have not stopped to ask one fundamental question which is “what will be the outcome if this law gets overturned?” When women hemorrhage out after a botched procedure on their way home, What will that look like on a micro level? Now people are being arrested for performing illegal abortions and black women are dying at a higher rate due to complications because they do not have access to medical treatment, therefore the government and pro-lifers have just created a new problem that will need to be rectified.

    At the end whatever your personal stance is on the issue, does not take away the fact that women are not going to stop having abortions. And need a place to go to get proper medical and mental care to ensure their safety and health. If we leave it in the hands of those who have a one-sided religious viewpoint in the matter, we will be putting black women in a life or death situation out of sheer desperation. With the black women being the most devalued among the races in this country, we just can’t allow that to happen.