Saturday, February 9, 2008

What do pro-lifers do to help pregnant minority women?

That's the gist of one of several questions asked by the blogger I wrote about last week ("When the 'right choice' leads to a 'fountain of pain'") in an entry titled "Are anti-choice Americans motivated by racism?" (Link contains profanity.)

She writes of pro-lifers, "Have they EVER done anything to help make it easier for economically exploited minorities to have children?"

Knowing that the Catholic Church is, after the federal government, the greatest provider of social services to minorities and immigrants in the United States, and that the nation's pregnancy resource centers —which exist largely to help minorities whom Planned Parenthood targets for destruction — outnumber its abortion clinics two-to-one, the question reminds me of a scene from "Monty Python's Life of Brian": "What have the Romans ever done for us?"

As Rod Dreher wrote in a 2002 article on crisis pregnancy centers, there is a "damned if they do, damned if they don't" tone to pro-choice criticisms of pro-lifers' aiding minority women who choose life:

Citing the disproportionately high abortion rate among minority women, CPCs are trying to open more branches in low-income areas. This has opened the movement up to charges of racism and classism (i.e., taking advantage of the poor) from abortion-rights activists. Veteran pro-life activist Frederica Mathewes-Green responds: "It seems ironic that those who are so adamant about decreasing the population see the excess as being the poor and the dark-skinned, and those who are already marginalized. These are not the people who have power in our nation, and these are the ones targeted for elimination."

CPC counselors in New York City say that blacks and Latinas are more open to the pro-life message than white clients-this, even though they tend to be poorer than white women seeking abortions, and therefore less able to provide for their own material needs. "A good CPC director knows how to take advantage of the public and private resources to help these women," says one volunteer counselor. "Some of these women are asking for abortions because they simply can't figure out how to navigate the bureaucracy. I've seen women look at me and go, 'Oh, I guess I really could take care of this baby.'"
RELATED: For background on Planned Parenthood's eugenic history, I have updated and reposted my 2005 post "Planned Parenthood's racist roots."

NOTE TO READERS: As I wrote when first linking to the blog of the woman who asks the question above, if you are moved to comment on her blog, I beg you, please do not write anything that might in any way be construed as critical or harassing. If anyone makes such a comment on her blog, I will ban that reader from commenting here. Thank you for your cooperation.