Because of its murderous connotation, abortion is a taboo subject in the black community. Consequently, in attempting to acquire interviews on this subject, I found myself surrounded by a sea of potential prospects reluctant to share their testimonies with those other than their closest friends. This reticence that exists among black women is unfortunate for future generations.
Mrs. A, an acquaintance from New York, had multiple abortions in her early twenties and admits that at the time they were being used as contraceptives. The fears of single motherhood, the grief from the Caesarean section procedure that she experienced during her first pregnancy, and the death of a friend who suffered from postpartum depression, were among her rationalizations for her actions.
Now in her early forties, she shares her story because she wants young women to know that one of the consequences of exercising their right to choose an abortion is barrenness. She also encourages young women to confront the disheartening fact that they will never know what the child may have become.
Unfortunately, the challenges of single motherhood, the advantages of attaining higher education and the stigmas attached to illegitimacy are resulting in educated women exercising their right to choose. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 65 percent of the infants born to black women were out of wedlock. The Census data also conveys that as a woman’s educational aspirations increase, the less likely she is to have children out of wedlock.
As blacks on the edge of a pending epidemic, we must take progressive steps against the pro-choice rhetoric that dominates popular opinion. We must protect our families and most importantly, our children because they are the basis upon which our future depends.
Should you have to make the decision to be pro-choice, consider the actions that prompted you to make that choice? Plan to use birth control, but please, don’t plan to take a life.
Shone Lane is a freshman print journalism student from Bronx, N.Y. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.