Kanye West recently exposed the systemic racism of abortion when he stated, “Democrats have 'brainwashed' black Americans and effectively forces them to abort their children." After 45 years and 60 million abortions, abortion is now the most systemic institutional racism in the U.S.
Systemic institutional racism has three components: a minority population is oppressed or disproportionately controlled by a majority population based on racial hierarchy/bias/prejudice; it adversely impacts the social-economic, political, and educational equality of minorities; and government, medical, educational, and judicial institutions promote the racism. Abortion exceeds every definition of systemic institutional racism.
Abortion’s primary purpose is population control and in the U.S. the black and brown communities are the populations controlled. Sixty four percent of abortions are performed on black and brown women representing 33 percent of the population. Thirty nine percent of abortions are performed on black women, representing 13 percent of the population and 25 percent are brown women, representing 20 percent of the population. Thirty six million black and brown women have had abortions since Roe V Wade. This is 350,000 – 500,000 minorities per year or 1,300/day (deaths from opioids are 100/day) are aborted. Remember, for every abortion there are two people outside the womb affected. The CDC reports that black women are 3.5 times as likely to have an abortion as white women. These numbers point to a clear systemic institutional racism beyond all others.
A successful Christian black woman in her mid-30’s shared her story how at 18 she was pregnant and thought she was in love, only to find out that he didn't love her and he didn't want a child or a relationship. Her "boyfriend" pressured her to have an abortion. She went to a Planned Parenthood Center and was asked, “If you cannot afford diapers how can you afford a baby"? This question is used to manipulate women into having abortions. This question devalues human life to the price of diapers. It is not a health care question, and it targets “poor women and women of color,” which is racism. This is played out thousands of times every day.
Abortion advocates use the phrase, "we want poor women and women of color to have access to abortions” to defend their actions. Planned Parenthood’s major objection to closing abortion clinics is because it will be a hardship on “poor women and women of color”. Rep Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) refers to abortion as racism when he proclaims that the Hyde Amendment, which prevents the use of federal funds for abortion except to save the life of the woman or if the pregnancy arises from incest or rape, is racist.
Democratic candidates for president want to overturn the Hyde Amendment so poor women and women of color will have more access to abortions. Bernie Sanders responded to a question about climate change by advocating that “poor women in third world countries (women of color) should have access to abortion” to help control the population for climate change.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rep. Rashida Tliab (D-Mich.), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) want free abortions for undocumented immigrants, who are 90 percent “poor women and women of color”. There were more black babies aborted in New York last year than were born, and the governor just signed and celebrated a bill for late-term abortions that statistically will abort more black babies.
Abortion is a major reason African Americans are not the majority-minority in the U.S. Systemic institutional racism of abortion must be addressed or it will continue to epidemically oppress the economic, political, and educational landscape of minorities for generations. Kanye is right, there is a disproportionate targeting of black and brown women to have an abortion. Here’s a challenge: find another systemic institutional racism that is comparable to the devastating impact of abortion.
Alex Clayton is pastor of the Northtown Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Northtown is a multiethnic congregation (58 percent African American) in one of the most segregated cities in the United States.