An titled event “Reversing Roe” hosted by the gender studies departments of Notre Dame and St. Mary’s College featured two professors who claimed the pro-life movement is all about keeping the United States a predominantly white country.
The group “Irish 4 Reproductive Health” also served as a host for the discussion.
One of the academics, Notre Dame Africana Studies and Political Science professor Dianne Pinderhughes, said “[Abortion] is an issue that allows for an effort to control the place of women. I’m sure you figured that out, or you wouldn’t be at this event.
“But [it’s] also how people will reproduce, what the population will be, what it will be like. Those who push so aggressively for reproduction, continued reproduction without any controls, are those who are also more likely to be in support of making sure the country stays predominantly, overwhelmingly white.”
Pinderhughes made waves recently at another Notre Dame event when she yelled “white privilege!” at a (white) man who was attempting to ask a question at a discussion about “whiteness.”
Gender studies prof Pam Butler agreed with Pinderhughes, claiming abortion became politicized via a “white supremacist strategy of the right wing of the Republican party.”
The Irish Rover reports Butler tied this in to the modern pro-choice movement: “The white-dominated feminist movement concerned with reproductive rights focuses almost exclusively on the right to an abortion…. It seems like we’re capitulating to the framing of the issue that was defined by the 1980’s evangelical white supremacists.”
Butler proposed that the pro-choice movement should instead move towards supporting abortion within the context of reproductive choices, maintaining, “Black and indigenous feminist activists have been telling us for decades that when you separate out abortion, and you separate out contraception, the right to not have a child, from a broader fabric of reproductive politics and freedoms, you’re creating reproduction as a white woman’s issue.” Explaining that pregnancy, parenting, and adoption should be brought into the conversation as well, she said, “I worry about what it means to see the future of reproductive politics solely through abortion and protecting Roe as our last best hope of freedom.”
[Professor of History Karen] Graubart used this experience to raise concerns that poor women do not have the same privilege as her to access reproductive services. She explained that if Roe were reversed, “white women, middle class women, upper-class women” could get on an airplane and fly to where abortion was legal. “Those of us who have any access to funds are going to be able to have abortions forever. And it’s basically just going to be poor women and predominantly women of color who already get inadequate health care, who are treated poorly by doctors, who are never going to be able to go in and argue for their right to this case.”
Graubart demonstrated just how far out of the mainstream she is by stating that, when she was pregnant, she didn’t think she “had a child [in her womb].”
“I mean I had a potential child inside me for a number of months,” she said, “which then developed into a child.”
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