Home » Editorial » Focus on real policies that help women, not bogus conspiracy theories

Letter to the editor

Columnist Lucky Rosenbloom wrongly attributes to the Guttmacher Institute the claim — itself false — that abortion providers “target” African American women [column of April 11]. In reality, disproportionately high abortion (and unplanned birth) rates among women of color are the direct result of their higher rates of unintended pregnancy, which in turn reflect economic and social inequalities that are widespread and pervasive.

The result is stark disparities not only on various reproductive health outcomes, but also on a broad range of health indicators, including high rates of diabetes, heart disease, AIDS and cancer. Antiabortion activists ignore these systemic inequities and instead cynically accuse abortion providers of targeting minority women.

In fact, fewer than one in 10 abortion clinics are located in predominantly African American neighborhoods. More than six out of 10 are in majority-White neighborhoods.

Rather than promoting misinformation and bogus conspiracy theories, let’s focus on policies that help women avoid unintended pregnancy, including making comprehensive sex education and voluntary, affordable contraceptive services universally available. Doing so will empower women and their partners to decide for themselves whether and when to have children.

But let’s also be clear that the most effective approach to overcoming entrenched inequality is to ground unintended pregnancy prevention efforts in broader anti-poverty and social justice efforts.

 

Susan A. Cohen, MPH, is director of government affairs at Guttmacher Institute in Washington, DC.

 

3 Responses to “Focus on real policies that help women, not bogus conspiracy theories”

  1. Shari Fagan-Crawford April 24, 2013

    Thank You, Susan Cohen. Wildly inaccurate ‘statistics’ and false claims aside; I fail to understand how forced child-bearing by women of color to punish them for unintended pregnancies does anything to further the ’cause’. Access to safe and legal abortion is crucial for the self-determination of all women.

    Reply
  2. All of these responses have been mentioned before. Alan Guttmacher Institute, Black Women are more than 3 times as likely as White Women to have an abortion. Are you saying this was not a part of your findings? Are you saying this is good for Black families? Are you saying minority neighborhoods do not have the highest number of abortions? I have the statistics right here answering YES. Black people are smart enough to know not to play the statistics game. The reality of my comments can be seen in any minority community. Are you saying that Black teens cannot have abortions without there parents consent? My opinions are not typical, but your response is typical to what we have seen when other Blacks speak out against this attack on the Black family.
    Keep reading my column because others will speak on this issue. We will explore what Angela Davis and other Blacks have said about racism and abortion.

    Reply
  3. Lucky Rosenbloom April 25, 2013

    Ms. Choen states “Columnist Lucky Rosenbloom wrongly attributes to the Guttmacher Institute the claim — itself false — that abortion providers “target” African American women [column of April 11].” Read my column and what is clearly stated is “but they
    >underwent 36% of abortions according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute.” Ms. Choen is doing what she accuses me of doing. I have my facts correct. The next time you indicate my comments, get it right. Are you saying this was not mentioned? “but they
    >underwent 36% of abortions according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute.”

    Reply

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