Friday, April 26, 2013

Has Roe v. Wade Led to an African American Holocaust?

                Roe v. Wade created the right for women to get abortions, but now an argument has come out that the African American community has be overly utilizing this right. In 2010 the CDC reported that African Americans accounted for 12.6% of the population, but account for 35.4% of all abortions. In the documentary Freakonomics, there is a claim that during the 90’s crime went down in New York City primarily because 18 years before young pregnant black women could get abortion, so that in the 90’s there were less poor black youth on the streets to cause crime. Has the court’s decision created what the article calls an “African American Holocaust,” or had it allowed the African American community to better prosper because less of the population was growing up in unsuitable conditions to prosper. Personally I am pro-choice, but the high number in the African American community brings a light to this issue I had not previously considered. In my final paper for this class I learned that an “institutionally racist” education system was harmful for African Americans and one of the problems was that the children were not receiving the appropriate amount of sex education. If this is the case then maybe higher African American abortions are only caused because other protection measure are not adequately understood by the youth, and the mothers do not feel fit to raise a child at a young age. However, the article quotes Dr. Martin Luther King, "The Negro cannot win as long as he is willing to sacrifice the lives of his children for comfort and safety", which raises a counter argument against African American community. The context of comfort certainly seems to apply here, but the issue of safety is something that needs to be explored for this context. If safety means financial safety, and the parents do not think that they will be able to provide for the child it does not seem as if they are sacrificing the child but rather waiting to develop an environment that would be better fitted to a raise a child. Although Dr. King was a minister, I do not think that he would believe that the goal of the African American community would be to raise as many children as it could regardless of condition. I think that it is interesting how this court decision has played a crucial impact on the African American community, and the statistics provided by the CDC sounds like interesting research in trying to explore why this phenomenon has occurred.

1 comment:

  1. This is something that I had never really thought about before. In reading King's quote, I agree with you that I doubt he would want as many children to be raised as possible, even though they may be in a bad home. It is quite thought-provoking -- I had never really thought about it this way but maybe the instatement of abortion in our society really has led to an "African American Holocaust."