Black Women and Choice in Alabama

By Teka Lark (May 17, 2019)

My mother said when she was pregnant with me the doctor asked her if she wanted an abortion. My mother was married, a housewife, had no other children, and owned a home with my father, but still that was the first question that the doctor asked when she went to the doctor to confirm what she had already knew. She and my father planned it, as they were responsible and that’s what responsible Black people do, so they won’t bring the wrath of racism.

Because if you’re perfect, you’ll never, ever have to experience racism.

This opens up my relationship with birth.

I have always been pro-choice I still am, but as a Black woman my relationship with choice is a different one.

A Black woman in urban America has never had a problem getting an abortion — now birth control, information on safe sex, sex positive information, a job, those were hard to come by, but an abortion, that has always been pretty easy.

I know all about abortion, not because I had one, but because I had driven my friends to them. I had a car and my birthday was on January 1, so I ended of being the driver in many rock and roll and unlucky in love adventures.

I drove a friend to get three abortions. Why did she get three? I don’t know. I have always had a it’s none of my business kind of policy. That is why I am a good driver.

In the early 20th Century the US had a eugenics program. Beginning in 1909 and continuing for 70 years approximately 60,000 sterilizations took place.

Black children are five times more likely to be be incarcerated.

Black infants have the highest infant mortality rate.

Post antebellum America has never been a welcoming place for Black babies.

“I’m pregnant” said Pamela Harris, before she was murdered by the state.

Growing up the worst thing you could do was to become an irresponsible Black woman with children.

That was worse than murdering people, stealing, pretty much the only thing worse than a Black mother (married, unmarried, it doesn’t matter, the institutions don’t differentiate between the two) was a Black mother on crack.

I always think about crack when I drive through the middle of the country and see places where people can dispose of their “diabetic” needles, wouldn’t have been nice if the same courtesy had been granted to people who had “diabetes” in South Central, Brooklyn, and Chicago?

Black people have been murdered, hypersegregated, and terrorized in the South since the inception of this country.

The politicians who are now enacting draconian laws to restrict the rights of white women, because they’ve already done everything they can to the rest of us, have always been draconian.

Black people didn’t vote for Governor Ivey of Alabama, we would have never vote for such a foul person.

Black people don’t get the luxury of a wedge issue, even anti-choice Black people will vote pro-choice. We have to look at the bigger issue. We have to look at justice on a larger scale.

I have often talked about the evils of the South, many people have, and to people now, who act as if the evil of the South is something new, I really want to ask where the fuck have you been sister, where the fuck have you been?


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