Notes on abortion amongst black women in New York

I recently came across a statistic that bothered me more than anything I’ve read in several years and, to be frank, I read a lot of very depressing literature. The statistic is that in New York City there are more abortions than live births for black women (http://blackamericaweb.com/2014/02/27/in-n-y-c-more-abortions-than-live-births-for-black-women/).

 

Now before all of the women that may come across this blog cringe at the thought of another man expressing his feelings on abortion, I would like to say that I fully realize that as a man I will never be pregnant and thus I will never be in a situation where I have to personally consider getting an abortion. Maybe it isn’t my place to speak on what women should and should not do with their bodies but as a black man it behooves me to decry the low cultural self-esteem and internalized racism amongst black people that this study confirms.

 

The study goes on to say that although abortions in New York City were down overall black women comprised 42.4 percent of the abortions performed.

 

When I finished reading the article I was at a loss. What happened to the idea of black folk handing down our dreams to our children no matter how bleak our current circumstances may be? If the whole country is stuck in a recession and a whole generation of young people are coming into adulthood mired in debt that they don’t have the means to pay off due to their inability to obtain employment then how is it that unborn black babies suffer more than any other demographic?

 

Has abortion become completely normalized in the black community?

 

When I was in high school if you got your girlfriend pregnant then you were supposed to “make her get an abortion.” Now as I tread deeper into the murky, unknown waters of manhood I see that a lot of my peers have been unable to shake this mentality. I know a lot of men who hold complete bitterness and hostility toward the very notion of them being a father.

 

“The bitch trapped me.”

 

“I don’t think she’s really pregnant.”

 

“I want a paternity test.”

 

These are all very strong sentiments that undoubtedly have a tremendous impact of the decision-making process of a black woman who all of a sudden finds herself to be in a pregnant condition. It’s hard for me to blame a sista for voluntarily choosing not to bring a child into this world out-of-wedlock knowing that she is going to have to raise the child without the assistance of the child’s father.

 

I do, however, wish that we remembered how much the descendants of Africa have historically cherished life. Be it on a rural plantation in Georgia or post earthquake Haiti blacks have always found hope in keeping our culture going strong. No matter how impossible our situation may appear to outsiders, we have never given up because quitting is probably the most Un-African thing a person can do.

 

It saddens me to know that the majority of black women in New York City have been led to believe that the termination of the spirit growing inside them is the most logical course of action to be taken.

 

-YB

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Notes on Planned Parenthood

November 21, 2011

In my limited travels through a handful of American ghettos I’ve noticed one very conspicuous consistency, and that is the presence of Planned Parenthood. Whether it be Oakland, Portland, Atlanta, or Los Angeles I find it interesting that some of the most desolate and underserved communities in the entire country somehow manage to attain a Planned Parenthood. Because of this fact in some of these neighborhoods abortions have become more accessible than fresh produce. It puzzles me. But I guess when it comes to the hood businesses are set up to control the population rather than to serve the community.

These are the kind of thoughts that keep me up at night.

-YB