By Corinne Murdock |
In honor of Black History Month, State Representative and congressional candidate Walt Blackman (R-Snowflake) introduced a proclamation, HR2001, to assert that abortion was the leading cause of death for African Americans and that unborn African-American children have equal rights under the Constitution. Blackman asked for a moment of silence to honor the approximately 1,300 unborn African-American children whose lives would be lost to abortion that day, based on statistical rates of abortion.
“[Abortion is] something that’s not spoken about in our communities. It’s something that needs to be heard. It’s something that I’m very aggressively trying to fix in black communities, and it is a tragedy that this happens every single day in the black communities,” said Blackman.
In addition to the resolution, Blackman introduced a bill to abolish abortion in Arizona: “Abolition of Abortion in Arizona Act.”
The legislator also asserted that Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger and its major supporters, like Hillary Clinton, are the “real racist[s]” and that abortion is “racial genocide.”
State Representative Pam Powers Hannley (D-Tucson) issued an immediate response to the proclamation, noting that Blackman’s approach to Black History Month with an “anti-abortion manifesto” was “a little bit weird.” Blackman is a black legislator.
Powers Hannley claimed that Blackman wasn’t only blaming Planned Parenthood but the mothers of those aborted children. Powers Hannley further argued that the greater focus should be on the fathers, as well as encouraging citizens to make smarter choices concerning their sexual habits such as wearing protection or choosing their partners more wisely.
“How many of those women were raped? How many of those women were underage? How many of those women were already overwhelmed with the children that they have? And what about the fathers? It’s shocking to me that the Republicans constantly go after the women as if the women are solely responsible somehow for an unwanted pregnancy,” asserted Powers Hannley. “Fathers are the number-one line of defense against abortion.”
Powers Hannley then concluded with an argument that struck similar tones to those who advocate for abstinence, taking the bodily autonomy logic and applying it to abstaining from sex with certain partners or in certain situations.
“I thought that Blackman’s speech was insulting to women. Women have a choice over their bodies. I think they should make better choices, perhaps, with who they have sex with. And that goes for women of all ages, and all races, and all ethnicities,” said Powers Hannley. “If that guy is not to be there for you if you get pregnant, don’t have unprotected sex with him — come on! And guys, if you want to prevent abortions, wear a freaking condom. You have control over this. You can control it at the first step, rather than trying to regulate women’s bodies later.”
The full text of the resolution is reproduced below:
“Whereas, since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision by the United States Supreme Court, more than 54 million babies have been aborted in Planned Parenthood centers around the nation, having drastic personal, practical and political effects on communities and citizens. Every town, city, ethnicity, and age group has suffered from the tragic effects of this mostly surgical and sometimes medical procedure. The true toll of abortion may remain unknown and immeasurable because the data, for the most part, has not been collected or has been ignored by those responsible for its collection; and […] abortion impacts African Americans at a higher rate than any other population group, and more African-American babies are aborted than born alive. In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an Abortion Surveillance Report stating that, although African-American women make up 14 percent of the childbearing population, these women obtained 36 percent of all abortions. At a ratio of 474 abortions per 1,000 live births, African-American women have the highest ratio of any group in the country; and […] this alarming number equates to more than 1,300 African-American babies aborted every day in America. Of the more than 44 million abortions performed since the 1973 Supreme Court ruling, 19 million African-American babies have been aborted, yet African Americans comprise just under 13 percent of the United States population; and […] the impacts of abortion on African-American communities are hard to fathom. According to the Guttmacher Institute, which generally supports abortion, 360,000 African-American babies were aborted in 2011. CDC statistics for 2011 show that 287,072 African Americans died from all other causes, excluding abortion, making abortion the leading cause of death among African Americans. African-American women and community leaders should be outraged about the racial disparity when African-American women are targeted by Planned Parenthood. […] The Members of the House of Representatives recognize abortion as the leading cause of death among African Americans and express their sentiment that unborn African-American babies conceived by legal citizens of the United States are protected under the United States Constitution guaranteeing equal rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all Americans.”