Don't Take Away Women's Rights - And Response (5)

  • Monday, June 24, 2024

Today, a group of supporters met up in Coolidge Park to show our support to our sisters who don't have a voice.

June 24, 2022, Roe v. Wade was overturned. Rather than attending school or work, we gathered in a peaceful demonstration.

Some brought signs, water and food. Others brought their hearts and shared (their own stories) why bodily autonomy means so much to them personally.

This day shouldn't pass in silence in our city. There was tears and hugs. We only want to make decisions about our own bodies. No one should take women's rights away, it's 2024.

Danielle Colvard

* * *

Ms. Colvard,

You write of women's rights, the right to make decisions over their bodies. You neglect to consider the rights of the unborn child. You believe that your right to choose supersedes a child's right to life.

The essence of this argument is based in the same moral reasoning that secessionists used that lead to the Civil War. They claimed their right to own slaves superseded the right of liberty of millions of enslaved people. Chief Justice Roger Taney in the Dred Scott case enshrined this moral travesty when he stated that African Americans, "had no rights which the white man was bound to respect."

Roe v. Wade, like Dred Scott v. Sandford, needed to be overturned. There should be no inherent right to kill the unborn just like there is no inherent right for one person to enslave another.

Darlene Lewis

* * *

It's misleading for pro-lifers to try and tie their pro-life beliefs to slavery. In fact, the pro-life movement actually stems from another time in American history of racism and xenophobia (a dislike of people from other countries). And a fear of an America becoming too "brown."

While the laws would go on to affect all women, it was argued back then, the lack of middle-classed "Anglo-Saxon" women giving birth "threatened the Anglo-Saxon race."

Remember that same argument of an America becoming too brown was used in the last major election cycle, by many Republicans.

It might be true, that birth rates are up, but that doesn't suggest the uptick in birth rates has anything to do with the Dobb's decision. Birth rates ebb and flow all the time, just like everything else. However, there was an actual increase in Americans, both men and women between ages 18-30, seeking possibly irreversible surgical sterilizations.

The 14-year-old, 20 week pregnant teen from Central America, found shot to death outside a restaurant in Tennessee - could her murder have possible ties to her pregnancy? Hopefully, DNA from the fetus could be collected and preserved, and a possible suspect identified later.

Brenda Washington

* * *

Until now, I thought that progressive darling Margaret Sanger promoted eugenics because she wanted brown folks (among others) to stop multiplying, and that the pro-abortion movement was rooted in racism. That's what all the history books say.

Thanks to Brenda, I now know that the actual racists are the pro-lifers.

Kevin Hargis

* * *

I strongly disagree with Ms. Lewis's assertion that Roe v. Wade (1973) was on a par with Dred Scott v. Sandford [Sanford] (1857). The latter held the right of one person to hold another in bondage, whereas the former recognized and solidified certain rights, liberty and privacy among them. Dred Scott denied bodily autonomy; Roe recognized the right to make decisions about your own body, life, and future, without coercion or violence.

Since the Dodd decision two years ago:

Texas banned abortions after six weeks. Since then, infant death rates have increased by 12.9 percent, whereas for the rest of the US, the figure is 1.8 percent.

Infant deaths from congenital abnormalities increased by 23 percent in Texas while they decreased for the rest of the nation.

Women were forced to carry to term fetuses that could not survive.

Texas allows no exceptions for women who have been raped. Governor Abbott’s response was, "We will eliminate all rapists from the streets of Texas."

Texas saw 26,313 rape-related pregnancies in Texas during the first 16 months after they enacted their ban.

The Texas Tribune, reporting on the state’s foster care system, noted the state’s “inability to account for hundreds of children who go missing each year.”

A 12-year-old girl in Mississippi was raped and forced to carry her fetus to term.

Women living under abortion bans are three times more likely to die during pregnancy, childbirth or soon after giving birth.

According to Shefali Luthra, author of Undue Burden, “Black people are more than twice as likely to die from pregnancy compared with white people.”

Tennessee, which also has a severely restrictive abortion ban, is not doing too well taking care of children who live in the state. We should concentrate on the following before we add even more children to our dismal statistics:

In 2021, there were 1,540,674 children in the state.

19 percent of Tennessee's children were poor in 2021.

233,620 unhoused children were enrolled in public schools in 2020-21.

16 percent of children lived in food-insecure households in 2020.

Over 9,000 children are in foster care; but the state does not have enough places for them, which means a number of them are staying in mental health facilities, hospitals or in DCS offices. Many are placed in homes and facilities nowhere near where their families reside, and so they cannot visit with them or keep the bonds of the family strong. This makes reunification more difficult. Remember, these children have done nothing wrong, but they are paying the price of others, including the state.

80,126 children ages 0-18 were uninsured in 2021.

7,739 children were abused or neglected in 2021.

What about these children’s rights and liberties?

Addressing the issues above (and others) should be our priority instead of forcing women to have a child they cannot afford, cannot take care of, or will suffer terribly after the birth. Also, forcing a woman to continue a pregnancy that could harm her physical health or even kill her harms her entire family including any children she may have already had. More than half of Americans who seek abortions already have at least one child at home.

Religious doctrine should neither supersede the rights of mothers nor the rights of their children to be brought into a world wanted, loved, and taken care of.

[Sources include Shefali Luthra, Undue Burden: Life-and-Death Decisions in Post-Roe America, Children’s Defense Fund, The State of America’s Children in Tennessee, 2023 Fact Sheet,

Michael Woodward

* * *

Ms. Washington, 

According to 2021 CDC reported US data, black women have the highest abortion ratio, followed by Hispanics, “other races”, and then whites.  

Those of us who make the case that tiny humans in the womb have a fundamental right to life because they are unique members of the human race, make that case for all of those defenseless humans, most of whom have non-white skin.

Rather than motivating the pro-life movement, racism and xenophobia were actually the driving force for Planned Parenthood’s eugenicist founder, Margaret Sanger. Sanger called some people “human weeds” and thought charity to the poor, especially poor pregnant women, enabled the breeding of “defectives, delinquents and dependents.” 

I am a woman and have an innate interest in the rights of women. My rights do not include harming another innocent human. In an abortion someone dies.  It is the smaller, defenseless one.

Jan Weaver

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