RJ at Selma50: Selling abortion to the next generation as reproductive justice

Let’s talk about selling abortion to the next generation as “reproductive justice” or RJ.

Photo: Jacquelyn Martin, AP

Photo: Jacquelyn Martin, AP

At the recent Selma50 March, Planned Parenthood marched for RJ. They were protesting Alabama’s laws requiring minors to involve parents in abortion decisions and for women to have informed consent.

Because, you know, involving parents of minor children and informing women about the risks of abortion equals oppression and denial of human rights.

How offensive is it to co-opt and compare abortion politics to the devastation of institutional racism and police brutality blacks experienced in Selma, AL on Bloody Sunday as they sacrificed their safety and their lives to secure the Voting Rights Act of 1965?

It’s been two years since abortion business leaders started a campaign to eliminate the language of “choice” from the marketing and sales of their services. According to RH Reality Check, Planned Parenthood launched a 2013 facelift aimed at attracting the next generation by promoting abortion as RJ–moving beyond the idea of abortion as a privacy issue between a woman and her doctor to reframe it as an issue of “economics, race/ethnicity, environment, sexual orientation, and other contexts that affect access to reproductive rights.”

The repackaging effort fails to obscure the fact that abortion proponents still promote destroying the children of the poor and women of color as the answer to poverty, race relations, climate change, gay access to adoption (?!?) and “other contexts.”

If that sounds racist on its face, realize that the concept of RJ was introduced by women in Africa in the 1990’s and adopted by US women of color in 2006 as a strategic way to expand the tent beyond abortion-rights activists to all groups suffering oppression. While women and men of color have argued for years that abortion is dangerously diminishing the black population as black genocide, the twisted reasoning of Trust Black Women concludes that not allowing abortion somehow equals genocide:

Reproductive oppression is implemented, for example, through discriminatory foster care enforcement, criminalizing pregnancy, immigration restrictions, preventing LGBTQ individuals from parenting, and forced abortions for incarcerated women. As stated above, reproductive oppression is a means of selectively controlling the destiny of entire communities through the bodies of women and individuals, a newer and more subtle form of negative eugenics. In fact, according to the United Nations’ Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, reproductive oppression meets genocidal standards because it can be characterized as: “Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group, [emphasis added] and forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

There are so many problems with this line of reasoning in the name of justice:

  • What about the fact that abortion policy in the US “prevents births within a group”, their own group?
  • Forced abortion of incarcerated women is the sole example of an injustice. But even in that case, our duty to justice is to uphold the value of the unborn, not abort them.
  • The scare-tactic language of “criminalizing pregnancy” relates to states taking action against maternal drug use while pregnant, i.e. serving justice by criminalizing parental abuse of an unborn child.

But the real problem, they claim, is white supremacy:

It is equally important to understand how the U.S. system of white supremacy facilitates reproductive oppression, an aspect understated by the mainstream movement. The concept of reproductive justice works similarly for white women as well because their individual decisions are directly tied to their communities – in particular, racist fears triggered by the decreasing percentage of white children born in the United States. Many of the restrictions on abortion, contraception, scientifically-accurate sex education, and stem cell research are directly related to an unsubtle campaign of positive eugenics to force heterosexual white women to have more babies. In contrast, children of color are often deemed unwanted, excessive and perceived as a threat to the body politic of the United States by being described as a “youth bulge” creating a dysfunctional education system, economic chaos, environmental degradation, and a criminal underclass.

These statements betray the RJ mindset as fear-mongering at its worst, and at its best nothing more than counterfeit compasssion.

  • Where, again, is the campaign forcing hetero white women to have babies?
  • And how, exactly, does eliminating black children through abortion on demand solve the myriad challenges facing communities of color?

What vulnerable women need is not the rhetoric of fear and oppression but actual support, respect, love, care, and help to raise their families.

Alveda King

Alveda King

I love what Rev. Dr. King’s niece, Alveda King had to say at the March (ht Newsbusters):

“Hundreds of us will march to commemorate the price many paid, some with their lives, for the right for African-Americans to vote,” King said. “I will be marching and praying also for America to wake up to the fact that since 1973 over 55 million babies, about 18 million of them Black, have been legally aborted in America. They died before they were able to grow up and vote. There is a connection here.”

Let’s give God the final say on the subject of justice, especially as it pertains to women and children in distress:

Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow. Isaiah 1:17

‘Cursed is he who distorts the justice due an alien, orphan, and widow.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’ Deuteronomy 27:19

Randy Alcorn has pointed out that adoption not abortion is the answer to today’s ‘widows and orphans’: the women who have been left behind by a man who should be there to protect them in the face of an unintended pregnancy, and likewise the children abandoned to the abortion trade in the most profound experience of orphanhood we can imagine.

What do you think?

Join us this Sunday on Cradle My Heart Radio for your calls or leave a comment below.

You’re invited to call in during the show to ask a question or make a comment on the air. The toll free number to call is 800-811-3003. If you would prefer to ask a question by email write to me at kim@kimketola.com before air time. Please let me know if you prefer to remain anonymous or receive an answer off-the-air.

For a list of stations or to tune in to Cradle My Heart on the Internet, go here. Smart phone users can listen on tunein linked here. The show is podcast on iTunes and archived here.

Join us for Cradle My Heart Radio with Kim Ketola every Sunday evening at 9p ET | 8p CT | 7p MT | 6p PT.


  1. […] Let’s talk about selling abortion to the next generation as “reproductive justice” or RJ. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin, AP At the …read more       […]

  2. brianwalker228 · · Reply

    Hi Kim:
    The origins of RJ really do not stem from Africa but from “westernized” African women trained by white feminist from the west. This training is continued by USAID, the United Nations and especially Planned Parenthood International.

    Follow the money trail and especially talking points that sound eerily similar. Through fellowships, scholarships and exchange programs African women are being trained to embrace RJ whether it be contraception, abortifcients, or abortion.

    In the Twin Cities MAWA, Minnesota Association of African Women which has some of its events co-sponsored by Planned Parenthood is a good example.

    1. Thank you for clarifying on background, Brian. The context is key to understanding where the roots of grievance-mongering lie.
      Hope you can join the discussion live tonight!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: