Thursday, August 31, 2006

Black Women & Abortion ...

Conservatives have been struggling for some time, particularly during the '06 mid-term, to find a wedge issue specifically targeting the African American electorate. The gay marriage fracas in the 2004 Presidential election seemed to hold some weight amongst church-going African Americans; and polling showed school vouchers doing the same. That doesn't mean Blacks are going Republican, it just means that many of us are socially conservative at home (although we don't show it at the polls). The latest issue is abortions in the Black community, the argument being that liberal support of abortions is killing a whole generation of Black babies. The final analysis: why are you Black people loyal to a political party that kills you? It's a bit of a macabre argument ...

Colorado Media Matters is dilligent enough to make us aware of recent remarks from Colorado GOP Gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez:

On KCFR's Colorado Matters, host Ryan Warner let stand Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez's citation of the false statistic that "as high as 70 percent, maybe even more," of pregnancies among African-American women end in abortion.

CMM goes further to set the record straight with data:

In fact, according to the latest figures from the November 2005 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a publication of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among states in which abortion rates by race were adequately reported, the 2002 "abortion ratio for black women" was "495 per 1,000 live births." In other words, roughly 33 percent of pregnancies among African-American women that do not end in miscarriages or stillbirths -- less than half of what Beauprez claimed -- end in "legal induced abortions."

Still, what we find interesting is that CMM didn't cut even further to the chase by simply citing data from that same report on White women. We'll do it for them:

In the 37 reporting areas for which race was provided classified according to the same categories used in previous years, approximately 54% of women who obtained legal induced abortions were known to be white, 36% black, and 8% other; for 3%, race was not known (Table 9). The abortion ratio for black women (495 per 1,000 live births) was 3.0 times the ratio for white women (164 per 1,000), and the ratio for women of the nonhomogeneous "other" race category (357 per 1,000) was 2.2 times the ratio for white women. The abortion rate for black women (29 per 1,000 women) was 3.0 times the rate for white women (10 per 1,000), whereas the abortion rate for women of other races (20 per 1,000 women) was 2.1 times the rate for white women.

We cite this information because we sense an implicit statement promoted more directly by Beauprez and more subtly by CMM: if abortion were a psychological barometer of cultural attitudes towards children, then numbers show that Black women don't care about their kids. Since we're on the subject of Black women and abortions, why not talk about everybody else and their abortion habits?