top of page

Fact Check Friday- Reproductive Justice and Equity?

This weeks claim...

Abortion provides 'reproductive justice' for minority women.

What they say.

"Abortion is a necessary part of health care especially for black women."

Advocates of abortion often refer to abortion as an essential reproductive right. They maintain that abortion must become a more accessible and equitable part of the overall healthcare solution for women impacted by systematic racism.

Some Surprising Facts:

  • Even with our state-of-the-art healthcare in Pittsburgh, fetal deaths are 2 times more likely among Black women compared to White women.

  • Black women's maternal mortality is higher in Pittsburgh than 97 percent of similar cities.

  • Compared to White mothers, Pittsburgh’s Black moms are 3 times more likely to give birth to extremely low weight babies.

  • Pittsburgh's Black adult women are 5 times more likely to live in poverty than White adult men.

  • Nearly 45% of the clients we serve are Black

Clearly Pittsburgh has colossal needs among vulnerable populations that can no longer be ignored. But is abortion the remedy? Or is it in fact part of the problem?

Those who promote abortion and tax payer funding for abortion suggest that it is a solution to poverty, or a stepping stone out of a life of poverty. Abortion is promoted as a remedy to the complex questions related to poverty, joblessness, fatherlessness and more. But the facts simply do not bear this out.

Over the 50 years that abortion has been legal in the US, we’ve learned that abortion is never the remedy. Abortion in fact has little to do with helping the poor — instead, it seeks to eliminates them.

Abortion has not delivered on any of its promises.

  • Today 43% of abortions are suffered by Black women yet they comprise only 13% pf the population in PA.

  • Poverty rates are higher and single-parent households in Pennsylvania have steadily risen since 1950, with up to 33.1% of families now led by solo parents. A 2020 report shows 415,373 total single-parent households in the Commonwealth.

  • Pennsylvania’s percentage of families with a single parent and households led by a solo mom are both higher than the U.S. averages.

And those women who choose abortion bear the psychological and spiritual burdens far more than their male counterparts. She may find that the abortion has disrupted her relationships. The rate of marital breakups and relationship dissolution after an abortion is said to be between 40 and 75 percent, often related to a breakdown of intimacy and trust. And that often leaves women alone to care for themselves and any other children. In fact, sixty percent of abortions are performed on women who have already had one or more children.

This downward trend has been called “the feminization of poverty.” Women are more likely than men to be poor, and to be in “deep poverty” (with an income less than half the federal poverty line). U.S. Census Bureau figures show that 5 million more women than men were poor by 2020. Over 30% of households headed by a single woman are below the poverty line, compared to 6% of households headed by a married couple. Women head over 80% of single-parent households, and almost half of children living with only their mother are poor. So poverty in America is often a story of poor women and children, with no man in the house.

In short, poverty can lead to abortion, and abortion can lead to more poverty.

But what about birth control? 

Abortion and the availability of subsidized birth control has not lowered the out of wedlock numbers either. This was noted as far back as 1977 when journalist Samuel Yette, the first Black reporter hired by Newsweek Magazine, wrote a piece on civil rights icon Fannie Lou Hamer, stating, “It is still a society in which an injured man must show his ability to pay before getting hospital services, but his daughter or wife can be aborted or fed birth control pills at public expense.” Yette continued, “Instead of seeking ways to feed the hungry, the back stage plan was to get the poor unwittingly to endorse a plan to eliminate from the society those who were hungry.” 3 He was referring of course to the eugenics movement that had found a firm foothold in Margaret Sanger's Planned Parenthood birth control and abortion outlets. The graph below is evidence that the widespread availability of birth control has not lowered the non marital birth rate in any segment of the population.

The out of wedlock birth rates by race in the United States from 1940 to 2014. The data is from the National Vital Statistics System Reports published by the CDC National Center for Health Statistics. Note: Prior to 1969, African Americans were included along with other minority groups as "Non-White."

So what is the answer for today’s complex racial inequities?

The Network of Life seeks to address the unique challenges that our clients face. When we, along with a vibrant church community, provide meaningful help and transformative care, the need for abortion fades away. Lives are changed and restored by a loving community of faith and care.

Our services go far beyond the medical help in early pregnancy. We are a long term partner offering prenatal education and childbirth classes, preparation for parenthood, material resources for mom, baby to come, and children at home. We address her relationships and help her choose a healthier sexual lifestyle. We promote healthy marriage which has been called “America’s greatest weapon against child poverty.” The education and mentoring relationships impact maternal health, full term delivery, and healthy birth weight.

But most importantly, we help her see herself as God sees her—a valuable person created in God’s image with a purpose, a plan and a destiny to fulfill.

If we truly hope to be a sanctuary city for life, we must care for those who need us most. Please consider a generous gift to help us save more lives and transform families.

16 views0 comments


bottom of page