Emboldened by Julie A. Burkhart
Despite decades of progress, there will always be those who want to turn back the clock on reproductive rights and abortion access. Now more than ever, far-right lawmakers are emboldened by a stacked U.S. Supreme Court and a president who uses inflammatory language that incites violence and intolerance.
Though the times have changed, the objective has not: keep women in their proper place, keep us subservient and making more babies until economic insecurity runs its course.
State legislatures across the country have used their extremist majorities to curtail access and even ban abortion outright. These new laws disproportionately impact women too poor to travel or move to a state with better access to abortion services -- a group that is disproportionately black and Latino.
People of color, trans people, and low-income women have long endured the brunt of reproductive control -- that’s no coincidence. The racial and socioeconomic gap between those making the decisions and those affected by them is a dynamic deeply entrenched in America.
The parallels between white cultural fears today and the ones that drove the first abortion bans are hard to miss. This dates back to the late 19th century when waves of immigration fueled concerns about so-called “white replacement” with a rapidly growing immigrant population.
This disturbing rhetoric encourages extreme ideology and incites violence from white supremacists and anti-abortion activists alike. So, it’s no surprise that the membership and leadership of these groups tend to overlap.
I know this all too well, since my boss and mentor, Dr. George Tiller, was assassinated by an anti-abortion extremist with deep ties to the white supremacy movement. I, too, have received death threats, and we have all witnessed an uptick in violence rooted in white nationalism since the president was elected.
Criminalizing abortion is just one lane of white supremacy, and it's why they only claim to care about fetuses until they're born brown.
President Trump has defended white nationalists, calling those who protested in Charlottesville “some very fine people.” Well, these “very fine people” believe they can uphold white supremacy through racial and gender oppression -- and it’s up to us to call it out when we see it.
Julie A. Burkhart
Founder and CEO | Trust Women