Eugenics & Contraception, part 32

This post includes stories of terrorism and murder. 

After the murder of Dr. Slepian the killings stopped, for a while. Dr. Ggeorge Tiller, who survived a 1993 assassination attempt, was gunned down in his church on May 31, 2009 in Wichita, Kansas. In 2015 a shooter attacked a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, Colorado, killing three and injuring many more. He was found incompetent to stand trial by reason of insanity. 

So-called “lone wolf” terrorists like these are sometimes mentally unstable, prone to conspiracy theories and extremist beliefs. The mainstream anti abortion movement knows such insane people are in their midst. Instead of urging caution, temperance, and mental health care among picketers, they ignite their passions and fury. When Republican politicians and Christian preachers call abortion providers “baby killers”, radicalized people hear ” justifiable homicide.”

One of the extremist charges picketers like to claim is that abortion is slavery, or the Holocaust, or genocide. They like to invoke the revulsion we feel about such racial horrors, but are themselves antisemitic and racist. White elderly men shout abuse at poor black teens and adults trying to get abortion care, not knowing or caring that the maternal mortality rate in the US is two to six times higher for black patients than white. 

In the United States and in the world, roughly one in three women will need an abortion in her life. But this figure conceals who needs and want abortions the most often, and who can access them. In the US the most common abortion patient is a white woman, yet white women terminate at one of the lowest rates. Women and trans gender people of every race, religion, and economic class terminate, but poor single mothers terminate most often.  

Eugenic pressures and prejudices against young mothers, single mothers, poor mothers, disabled mothers, and mothers of color all influence the uneven frequency and distribution of unplanned pregnancies and abortions. Those same population groups are the most likely to have difficulty accessing reliable contraception, for all that they are not trusted to raise their own offspring. The only approved course of action is adoption: giving the babes to older, married, financially secure, abled, white mothers to be properly raised. 

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