NRL News

Abortion Industry struggles to find a toehold with “progressive” young women, particularly women of color

by | Jun 30, 2020

By Dave Andrusko

Last week we posted two stories about the unceremonious ouster of the CEO of  Planned Parenthood’s largest affiliate, following a barrage of charges from current and former staff of abusive behavior, racism, and financial mismanagement. 

Laura McQuade is white and judging by the frantic statements subsequently posted by PPFA headquarters and the board of Planned Parenthood of Greater New York, they grasped that many women of color were not happy with an organization founded by Margaret Sanger, who at the very least was a eugenicist, but was labeled by the over 300 staffers as “a racist, white woman.”

Talk about a classic canary in a coalmine scenario.

I thought of that PPFA disaster as I read a story about how pro-abortionists are having very limited success reaching out to “Gen Z,” those born after 1995 (women in particular), and Millennials. Naturally the story appeared (where else?) in the New York Times, the Abortion Industry’s house organ, written by Emma Goldberg.

The subhead reads,” Some Gen Z and millennial women expressed mixed feelings about the fight over abortion rights, viewing it as important but less urgent than other social justice causes.”

Some of the excuses—actually most of the excuses—were variations on a single theme. Having ready access to abortion, “it’s hard to imagine us going backward ” as one young woman put it.

So, one reason, they’ve grown accustomed to not even having to think about abortion being meaningfully restricted.

Another explanation they had difficulty getting energized is the way the older generation of pro-abortion women (code for White women) framed the issue. One woman told Goldberg

she wished that advocates would talk about the issue in a way that felt urgent to members of Generation Z and young millennials like her.

“It’s not that young people don’t care about abortion, it’s that they don’t think it applies to them,” she said. Language about “protecting Roe” feels “antiquated,” she added. “If I’m a high school student who got activated by March for Our Lives, I’m not hip to Supreme Court cases that happened before my time.”

The answer? Framing the issue as one of “reproductive justice”—defined by Goldberg as “racial and socioeconomic disparities in access to abortion.” A different “conversation” along different lines must take place between older and younger pro-abortion women. 

Then an interesting nugget from Goldberg:

The generational shift is evident at national gatherings for abortion providers. Ms. [Johanna] Schoen [a professor at Rutgers] has attended the National Abortion Federation’s annual conference each year from 2003 to 2019. In recent years, she said, its attendees have grown more racially diverse and the agenda has shifted, from calls to keep abortion “safe, legal and rare” to an emphasis on racial equity in abortion access.

“The political questions and demands that the younger generation raises are very different,” she said. “There’s more of a focus on health inequalities and lack of access that black and brown women have to abortion.”

Three observations.

One, as these sorts of stories tend to be, it was built around interviews with “more than a dozen” young women, not a gigantic sample. And, of course, there are no pro-life women– “progressives” or otherwise—to be found.

Second, “abortion access” is a two-edged sword. To these “progressives,” it’s like a talisman with quasi-mystical powers. 

Looked at from a different vantage point, however, women of color already have plenty of access. The result is given their percentage of women of child-bearing age, they already have wildly disproportionate numbers of abortions. Should being able to kill even more  babies really be seen as a sign of “progress”? 

Third, there is one paragraph that is the key to the whole piece and probably why it was written (besides to coincide with yesterday’s Supreme Court abortion decision). 

“But Gen Z women do not identify abortion as one of the most important issues to them, according to a 2019 survey from Ignite, a nonpartisan group focused on young women’s political education,” Goldberg writes. “On the right, meanwhile, researchers say that opposition to abortion has become more central to young people’s political beliefs.”

Being pro-life is far more important to conservative youth (and/or young people raised in a family that is faith-based) than being pro-abortion is to “progressives.” This drives the New York Times and PPFA nuts.

Categories: Abortion