no violence period: New Perspectives on Abortion


A Consistent Life Ethic

· Nat Hentoff on Abortion
· Abortion and the American Left

Abortion and the Media

Roe v. Wade

Full list of articles

Strange New Respect, 1992

by Tom Bethell
The American Spectator, September, 1992


A couple of days after its Souter-has-grown story, the New York Times attacked Justice Thomas for not following Souter's "pattern of growth." Here we come to an unreported aspect of the story. An increasing percentage of women seeking abortions are black; for every three black babies born, two are aborted; black women are more than twice as likely to get abortions as white women. At least 400,000 black pregnancies are aborted each year; 70 percent of Planned Parenthood clinics are in black and Hispanic neighborhoods. As Michael K. Flaherty pointed out in last month's issue, Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger wrote that "we do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members."

Hmmmmm. Is it possible that word of this somehow got out to Justice Thomas even though the news is not fit to print? There is, no doubt, considerable right-wing support for abortion today, but its basis is carefully left unstated--at least in print. A right-winger I know is particularly in favor of subsidized abortions. Here's an angle on racism that journalists don't want to dig into. It might be a little uncomfortable for their choice-promoting feminist friends to see who their real bedfellows are. Harken unto abortionist Edward Allred, quoted in the San Diego Union as saying: "When a sullen black woman of 17 or 18 can decide to have a baby and get welfare and food stamps and become a burden to us all, it's time to stop. In parts of South Los Angeles, having babies for welfare is the only industry the people have."

A little more of Allred & Co. in print and blacks might become more suspicious of the abortion-promoting liberals they have faithfully followed for years. But it's worth noting that the published expression of right-wing (as opposed to merely conservative) opinion is taboo in the U.S. today. The taboo is faithfully observed by conservatives. Liberals, by contrast, relish the added leverage provided by those on their own side but further to the left, and they are delighted not to have to contend with the full spectrum of opposition from the right. If books like The Rising Tide of Color, written by Lothrop Stoddard (Ph.D., Harvard) were still published by respectable houses (Scribner's), those who support abortion on ostensibly liberal grounds might also come under suspicion of liking its demographic outcome. Liberals are big supporters of population control in the Third World, after all, not to mention subsidized abortions here. Don't expect the New York Times to play up minority abortions any time soon, then. Recently, however, the maverick Nicholas Von Hoffman wrote a bold column, published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, applauding the Court's ruling. Although he avoided any mention of blacks, he did say that the people who are aborted are just the kind who would be confronting us with Uzis later in life if they were not. Disdaining the evasive rhetoric of "choice," he came right out and applauded the sociological outcome of abortion on demand. A breakthrough, if I'm not mistaken. I'm sorry he couldn't make it for the Strange New Respect award. Nick is a sociable old cove and I think he would have been delighted to pin the Taney Medal on Kennedy's chest.

Copyright 1992 The American Spectator