By Guest Contributor Pamela Merritt, originally posted at RH Reality Check
Just days before the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, a fellow activist sent me a link to a video posted by the anti-choice group Bound for Life. I was vaguely familiar with Bound for Life from having seen their members at protests, signature red tape marked with the word “Life” fixed to their mouths.
The video promoted an action that Bound for Life participated in at a new Planned Parenthood clinic being built in Houston. The spin for this specific protest caught my attention. The angle – that reproductive health care providers are organized to increase abortions by people of color in a plot to commit genocide for profit – has been in play by anti-choicers for years. That theory has been, is now, and will always be insultingly paternalistic in its assumptions about women of color seeking reproductive health care. The allegation is also picking up steam this Black History Month.
The first time I watched the video I was struck by the theories promoted through it – that communities of color are tragically ignorant of some long standing genocidal plot and desperately need organizations like Bound for Life to come to educate us, that the size of a reproductive health care clinic is in some way connected to it’s intended scale of abortion services and that the location of that clinic (in communities of color) is proof of some long standing genocidal plot. Bound for Life isn’t alone in putting forth these arguments. Anti-choice groups recently put up billboards in Georgia claiming that Black children are an endangered species and other organizations, like The Radiance Foundation, target religious people of color with the same anti-choice message; their stated goal being to illuminate, educate and motivate their audience.
The fallout from this rhetoric is hard to measure, but I’ve heard of the black genocide conspiracy for years. I am an activist in my home city of St. Louis Missouri and many of the young women of color I work with are aware of the rumors and ask questions about them.