Racism and xenophobia have been woven into the anti-abortion movement for decades, despite the careful curation of its public image.
By Alex DiBranco
(posted online January 8, 2021)
FEBRUARY 3, 2020
The anti-abortion movement in the United States has long been complicit with white supremacy. In recent decades, the movement mainstream has been careful to protect its public image by distancing itself from overt white nationalists in its ranks. Last year, anti-abortion leader Kristen Hatten was ousted from her position as vice president of the anti-choice group New Wave Feminists after identifying as an “ethnonationalist” and sharing white supremacist alt-right content. In 2018, when neo-Nazis from the Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP) sought to join the local March for Life rally organized by Tennessee Right to Life, the anti-abortion organization rejected TWP’s involvement. (The organization’s statement, however, engaged in the same false equivalency between left and right that Trump used in the wake of fatal white supremacist violence at Charlottesville. “Our organization’s march has a single agenda to support the rights of mothers and the unborn, and we don’t agree with the violent agenda of white supremacists or Antifa,” the group wrote on its Facebook page.)
The Last Abortion Clinic in West Virginia
Nov 18, 2019
The Women’s Health Center in Charleston, West Virginia is an unassuming, single-story beige brick building in a shabby neighborhood, just steps from the train tracks and a crisis pregnancy center, a shuttered vape shop, and a row of small homes surrounded by chainlink fences. I visited the center, the last abortion clinic in the state, on a Wednesday in June, one of the two days each week that the clinic performs abortions. Christopher McComas, 52, stood by the entrance to the clinic’s parking lot, equipped with a cell phone that he trained at everyone who approached the clinic.
“Hey brother, can I talk to you for a second? Please, for a second? Do you think it’s going to be a boy or a girl? Does it have blue eyes, or maybe brown eyes?” McComas yelled at one couple, a tall photo of a blood-covered fetus propped up by his side. “God loves you, please don’t do this ma’am! I beg you not to do this! It could be a boy or a girl,” he continued to yell at the couple as they entered the clinic, shielded by a large umbrella held by a clinic escort. “It could have brown hair!”
As Trump Fans the Flames of Anti-Abortion Rhetoric, Kansas Offers a Cautionary Tale
August 2 2019
A sheriff’s deputy was waiting in his car along Interstate 35 just outside Kansas City, Kansas, on the afternoon of May 31, 2009, when the powder-blue Ford Taurus rolled by.
The deputy pulled out behind the car and followed it. He took up two lanes and put on his hazards so no one would try to pass as he called for backup. Minutes later, a four-car posse pulled the Taurus over. Inside was 51-year-old Scott Roeder. He got out of the car with his hands raised. There was blood on his pants and one of his shoes.