One of the nastiest and most thought-provoking ads the pro-life movement in the US ever ran was of a very pretty little girl, aged about six, in a red dress, nappy hair with a pink ribbon. She stares out of the poster with a solemn, thoughtful expression. The caption: The Most Dangerous Place For An African-American Is In The Womb.
Three of the tropes the prolife movement favour come together in that advert:
- that a pregnant woman and her fetus are each other’s enemies – or at least, that you can’t support a pregnant woman if you want to show support for the fetus she’s carrying
- that abortion is dangerous
- that the right to choose abortion is a particular threat to African-Americans
Ask an American prolifer and they will tell you that Margaret Sanger (1879 – 1966) founded Planned Parenthood with white supremacist intentions, and offer as “evidence” some highly selective quotes from Sanger’s writings and the high proportion of abortions among African-American women. The notion that Sanger founded Planned Parenthood as a kind of dead-hand conspiracy to have black woman have abortions is so absurd on the face of it that I’d always dismissed it as just one of those American things, like the belief that evolution is “just a theory” (yes, like gravity) or that the Grand Canyon was caused by Noah’s Flood. Clear nonsense believed by people whose highschool textbooks were written to avoid being provocative with science and who get current events from Fox News.