June is Abortion Awareness in the African American Community. Here’s a post in my Bulletin from a couple of years Back in St. Thomas More Parish, a predominately African American Parish. I plan to run it in my current parish as well later this month:
Abortion Awareness Month – Uh Oh! Not that Conservative Republican Issue again! But for a moment, set aside the old wineskins. Turn off images of modern day fanatics, white-racist-conservative-fundamentalists, Pro-Lifers who kill doctors, ugly and violent confrontations between fierce adversaries. Set aside for a moment the true observation that too many view abortion as all that matters and refuse to consider other life issues e.g., poverty and racism. Just for one moment, consider these shocking parallels between Abortion and Slavery:
- Fate of certain human beings is dictated by financial and personal interests of others.
- Courts establish who is human/non-human and use categories of partial humanness (slaves were called 3/5 of a person for legal purposes, fetuses lack all human rights).
- The right to life and liberty are not inalienable for the fetus just as for slaves. They are a different category than the “all men who are created equal” Fetuses, like slaves of old, are held to receive their fundamental rights of life and liberty not “from God” but only if other more powerful people say they have them.
- More powerful persons are also more valued in society and their rights trump the less powerful.
- Less powerful fetuses like the slaves lack all legal standing and cannot advocate for themselves.
- Fundamentally both slavery and abortion are economic and convenience issues. Slavery was considered by many a “necessary evil” to protect economic, political and social realities. So is abortion.
- Overturning the injustice depends on unrelenting, courageous efforts of people who are labeled as “fanatics” just like the abolitionists of old were called this.
And, While we are at it, the following slogans apply the abortion rationales to Slavery. Try these on for size and see how they feel:
- “Let’s keep slavery safe, legal and rare.”
- “I’m not pro-slavery, but I do think slave owners should have the right to choose how they run their plantation.”
- “I am personally opposed to slavery, but I don’t want to impose my values on somebody else.”
- “Slavery has been upheld by the US Supreme Court (Dred Scott), it is the settled Law of the Land.”
- “We really can’t say the slave is a person.”
- “Abolitionists are just trying to impose their extreme religious views on us.“
How do these slogans feel? How are they different than the current thinking?