Blinded By Hate

Paris Hatcher, the executive director of SPARK, Reproductive Justice Now, is being interviewed to get her reaction to “how pregnant women are treated” starting with a minority woman from Nashville who gave birth while incarcerated.  The woman was reportedly placed in restraints while in transport to the hospital and while at the hospital.

Hatcher laments about what she perceives to be injustices in the conservative pro-life movement.  She believes the message that life is sacred only applies to those with “money, and wealth and access are the ones who are supposed to have babies, are seen deemed to be fit to be parents, and those that need assistence…are deemed unfit”.  At one point the interviewer asked to be reminded why the woman at the beginning of the clip was chained to the bed, Hatcher responded, “because she was an immigrant woman…she was a woman of color in this country.”  Hatcher continued, “we have to know what this idea of motherhood is, is really built on racialized and gender terms.  At first look, this government has deemed who is considered a fit mother.  There are reality tv shows dedicated to white women having 19 children and that is absolutely OK.  One woman having one brown baby is seen as a threat to the United States.”

Hatcher’s point of view, that the government was in the business of encouraging white women to have children, while being opposed to “women of color” having babies is all wrong from the perspective that she is coming from.  A disturbing fact about “women of color”, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), black women accounted for 36.5% of abortions performed in 2007, but make up only 12.6% of the overall population.  While whites (hispanic and non-hispanic) comprise 55.9%of abortions and account for 72.4% of the population.  That is an overwhelming disparity in the numbers of abortion between the races.

The 112th US Congress, which is currently made up of 242 Republicans, and 194 Democrats, is for the first time proposing legislation to eliminate taxpayer funding for abortion with H.R. 3, aka the “No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act”, a bill unanimously supported by Republicans, and virtually split down party lines.  Bills placing restrictions on abortion ranging from increased waiting periods, to required sonograms, are being introduced and passed on the state level all over the country within the last few years, all initiated by conservative politicians.

So what does this mean?  The government is actually attempting to make progress in reducing the number of abortion, by making it more difficult to obtain abortions for matters of convenience. (numbers represent the percentage of women who gave each response as to why they obtained an abortion according to the Guttmacher Institute)

  • Having a baby would dramatically change my life: 74
  • Would interfere with education: 38
  • Would interfere with job/employment/career: 38
  • Have other children or dependents: 32
  • Can’t afford a baby now: 73
  • Unmarried: 42
  • Student or planning to study: 34
  • Can’t afford a baby and child care: 28
  • Can’t afford the basic needs of life: 23
  • Unemployed: 22
  • Can’t leave job to take care of a baby: 21
  • Would have to find a new place to live: 19
  • Not enough support from husband or partner: 14
  • Husband or partner is unemployed: 12
  • Currently or temporarily on welfare or public assistance: 8
  • Don’t want to be a single mother or having relationship problems: 48
  • Not sure about relationship: 19
  • Partner and I can’t or don’t want to get married: 12
  • Not in a relationship right now: 11
  • Relationship or marriage may break up soon: 11
  • Husband or partner is abusive to me or my children: 2
  • Have completed my childbearing: 38
  • Not ready for a(nother) child: 32
  • Don’t want people to know I had sex or got pregnant: 25
  • Don’t feel mature enough to raise a(nother) child: 22
  • Husband or partner wants me to have an abortion: 14
  • Possible problems affecting the health of the fetus: 13
  • Physical problem with my health: 12
  • Parents want me to have an abortion: 6
  • Was a victim of rape: 1
  • Became pregnant as a result of incest: <0.5

If we are to look at the situation clearly, it would seem the government is making strides for more minority children to be born rather than aborted.  These efforts are being led by conservative politicians and opposed by liberal politicians.  This fact evades Hatcher.

Hatcher makes another point about who is deemed fit to be a parent.  She suggests that the wealthy are deemed fit, and those who are struggling are not.  Remember, Hatcher claimed the woman in the beginning of the story was chained to the bed because she was an immigrant woman (a rather creative interpretation of the facts).  Actually she was chained because she was incarcerated (note: in nearly, if not every state, it does violate policy to restrain the feet, or handcuff pregnant women behind the back). 

I think it is rather obvious that some people are unfit to be parents.  People who cannot support their children financially, provide proper food, clothing, and shelter should not have children.  Those who make a life of being in and out of prison should not have children.  So yes, some people are unfit for parenthood.  Hatcher seems to be unable acknowledge that part of being a fit parent includes being able to take care of them.  It is difficult to care for children if you cannot afford their basic needs, or are absent from their lives due to a lifestyle which leads to periods of incarceration.

Hatcher is so blinded by political, social, and racial bigotry that she cannot see how backwards her thinking really is.  If Hatcher truly believed that “one brown woman having one brown baby is seen as a threat to the United States” was the mentality of a white government, then she ought to oppose abortion, given the disparate rates of abortion between the races.  It has long been liberal public policies which have created and exacerbated income disparities between the races.  It is liberals who do everything they can to increase access to abortion, which is already over utilized by blacks in America.  If Hatcher were to be consistent with her charges, she would be a pro-life conservative.


  1. Terrance H. says:

    Hatcher is obviously a moron. I don’t know how you muster the patience to be decent to these halfwits. I get so enraged – literally – when I hear that kind of filth! That should be obvious by the contempt that comes drooling out in record levels when I do one of my Pro-Choice vs. Pro-Life rounds. They are disgusting people. I don’t know how you do it.

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  3. I saw the same bias and hate at the Sojourners’ blog. One woman tried to say I was pro-life and just trying to protect “my” majority. I pointed out that if that was my goal I was doing a lousy job of it. Given that the abortion rate for blacks is 3x that of whites and Hispanics’ is 2x, I’d be hurting my alleged cause to be pro-life. If I wanted to sustain my majority I’d push for taxpayer-funded abortions and donate to Planned Parenthood.

    Oddly, she thinks I’m the hateful racist.

  4. rautakyy says:

    The Gutmacher institute statistics you posted clearly show, that women having abortions are having multiple very serious reasons to have one. A very large portion of these are economical and the rest are social problems. If it is true that black part of the US population is having more abortions, it would also indicate that they are still having more economical and social trouble in your country. It is a sign of a racistic society, if ethnic backround corresponds whith the amount of economical trouble. Does it really do so? If this is so, it maybe less of a wonder that a member of that ethnic group is showing distrust to the society. It seems to me as an outsider to your politics, that you have a lot of distrust in governmet and its agencies in the US by the different groups of citizens. How much of it is unfounded?

    Of course the division to the black population and white including the hispanics is a bit artificial. A large number of hispanics come from a poor catholic Latin American backround whith extreme attitudes of contraception and abortion. It is a general state of matters in the world that poor uneducated population is more religious and also has stronger taboos about contraception and even abortion. The more educated people may have less abortion then the less educated people, but that is more due to their lesser risk of economical and social trouble in comparrison. The European catholics care little(and even less if they have high education) about the pope condemning contraception, but it is a serious commandment to the Latin American countries, that are struggling whith overpopulation as it is. Those are also some of the areas in the world that are most vulnerable to the effects of overpopulation.

    It is however, the very richest who can afford a safe abortion, if society will not support such activity. It will definatively increase dangerous abortions by “home means”. Ireland was such a country when they banned abortion. The rich continued having abortions in other countries, but it was disasterous to the poor. I believe they have now taken care some of the problem by a society that pays for the abortion trips of the poor to neighbouring UK. It is a sort of an “don’t ask don’t tell” policy.

  5. I still find it a bit disturbing that you think the reasons women gave for seeking abortion reported by the Guttmacher institute as “serious reasons”. If they are so serious, why can I not use any of them to end the life of my 3 year-old? Or a newborn for that matter?

    We are not talking about Latin American countries. We are talking about black Americans who are being sold a bill of goods by liberal politicians.

    This woman, Hatcher, has the reasoning of her biggoted rant backwards. She claims that white [implied conservatives] are trying to make sure there are more white babies than minority babies.

    When the facts are that conservatives have pushed for less abortion, while liberals have pushed for more funding and easier access. Liberal policies increase the number of abortions, which decrease the number of minority born, birth rates lower due to abortion.

    Thus, the very people she is complaining about are actually the ones trying to ensure more minorities born.

    She, like most liberals, aren’t thinking clearly.

  6. rautakyy says:

    Oh, I thought that the woman speaking spanish on the video was from a Latin American country. Was this not about her perdicament at all?

    If you can not see the difference why you should not kill your children on the same reasons that people give for abortion, it is maybe due to the same reason why you can not make a difference between two adults consenting to sex and an adult forcing a child or an animal to have sex. But these are matters of the moral compas, right?

    Well, I am no way a liberal in your US terms, but I never thought them generally as a group of people “not thinking clearly”. Sometimes they are wrong (often so), as are other people, but generalizing them as a group who are not thinking clearly makes you sound like you were “blinded by hate”. Surely this is not so, but you just little overreacted.

    It seems to me, you have misunderstood what she is saying. I hope not deliberatlely. Now, in my view she is claiming that there is a double standard and double morals between the pro-life argument of conservatives and how poor (often coloured) mothers are treated. As instead of social support, what they get is a treatment as they were criminals. I have no idea wether or not this is so, but that is what I thought she said. How does your government support poor immigrant mothers? Is there a difference in their treatment in comparrison to rich (often caucasian) mothers? Do rich get better treatment in maternity clinics for example? Are the poor thrown out of them faster after the birth of the child then the rich?

    • The woman in the begining was likely from a Latin American country, but she was not treated like a criminal because she was a minority. She was treated like a criminal because she was a criminal. She was in prison.

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