Notre Dame professors argued at a recent panel discussion that the pro-life movement is merely a scheme promoted by white supremacists to keep America a nation with a white majority.
Participants at the “Reversing Roe” panel discussion event – hosted by the Notre Dame Gender Studies Department, the St. Mary’s College Gender Studies Department and Irish 4 Reproductive Health (a nonprofit group) – contradicted well established facts regarding the biblical and moral roots of the pro-life movement, with one professor at the nation’s most prestigious Catholic university portraying a preborn baby as a mere “clump of cells.”
Pro-life movement a racist conspiracy?
On board with her faculty’s contention – that the pro-life movement is a white supremacist scheme to ensure that the United States stays a white-majority nation – is Notre Dame professor of Africana Studies and Political Science Dianne Pinderhughes, who claimed that those championing the sanctity of human life are both sexist and racist.
“[Abortion] is an issue that allows for an effort to control the place of women – I’m sure you figured that out, or you wouldn’t be at this event – but also how people will reproduce, what the population will be, what it will be like,” Pinderhughes contended, according to Notre Dame’s student newspaper, The Irish Rover. “Those who push so aggressively for reproduction – continued reproduction without any controls – are those who are also more likely to be in support of making sure the country stays predominantly, overwhelmingly white.”
Notre Dame Right to Life Vice President Matt Connell took issue with Pinderhughes’ take on the abortion vs. pro-life debate.
“Professor Pinderhughes’ suggestion that the pro-life movement is motivated by an attempt to keep America predominantly white was puzzling, to put it mildly, given the reality that abortion disproportionately takes the lives of unborn children in minority communities in America – not to mention the deeply eugenic history of the abortion rights movement,” Connell told The Irish Rover.
Notre Dame professor of Gender Studies Pam Butler also offered her commentary on the topic, implying that pro-life advocacy stemmed from white supremacy – this following a documentary at the event that claimed to provide a neutral snapshot of the events leading up to and following the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that essentially legalized abortion nationwide.
“[Abortion] got politicized in a moment of a white supremacist strategy of the right wing of the Republican Party to mobilize a very specific set of evangelical Christians in the United States as a base,” claimed Butler, who identified herself as part of the pro-choice movement, according to the Notre Dame paper. “I’m going to – with some trepidation – identify myself as a longtime reproductive rights activist and organizer – so not only do I research and teach about reproductive politics, but I also have been involved in reproductive rights activism since the 1990s. I think I volunteered at my first clinic my senior year of high school.”
She then revealed a strategy to help the pro-choice movement in an area where she believes it has fallen short.
“The white-dominated feminist movement concerned with reproductive rights focuses almost exclusively on the right to an abortion – it seems like we’re capitulating to the framing of the issue that was defined by the 1980s evangelical white supremacists,” Butler continued – suggesting that reproductive choices should be at the center of the pro-choice agenda. “Black and indigenous feminist activists have been telling us for decades that when you separate out abortion, and you separate out contraception, the right to not have a child – from a broader fabric of reproductive politics and freedoms – you’re creating reproduction as a white woman’s issue.”
Notre Dame professor of History Karen Graubart expressed her concern about the success of the pro-life movement to limit abortion across the U.S.
“The last couple decades have not only been an attack on abortion rights and access to abortion, but also a neoliberal strategy to criminalize poverty and to use race to criminalize poverty, as well,” Graubart insisted before sharing her experience with in vitro fertilization. “Fifteen years ago, I decided that my career was finally on track. I was a queer single woman with a great job at an Ivy League institution about to get tenure, and I decided that I needed to have a baby… I went to a sperm bank, which is like the center of eugenics – right, that’s what sperm banks are … I was able to get myself pregnant, have a baby, and then create a life for myself using that.”
She mentioned this to argue that poor women do not have the same privilege to access the reproductive services that she had.
“[If Roe were reversed], white women, middle class women, upper-class women [would fly on an airplane to where abortion was legal],” Graubart added. “Those of us who have any access to funds are going to be able to have abortions forever, and it’s basically just going to be poor women and predominantly women of color – who already get inadequate health care – who are treated poorly by doctors, who are never going to be able to go in and argue for their right to this case.”
The biblical argument for life was then discounted by Notre Dame professor of Political Science Christina Wolbrecht, as she quickly took the pro-choice side of the contentious debate on the Catholic campus located in South Bend, Indiana.
“As soon as I came here [Notre Dame], I heard, ‘Oh [abortion]’s an issue that people take so seriously because it’s all about life and death,’” Wolbrecht shared, according to The Irish Rover. “There’s no political issue that’s not about life and death. Immigration, social welfare, economic programs – people live and die on the basis of those decisions.”
The Catholic educator then categorized intentionally killing a preborn baby with any other medical procedure – similar to having one’s tonsils or cancerous tumor surgically extracted.
“If you frame [abortion] as a public health issue, this is a procedure like any other one that you have access to, then if the government pays for other forms of insurance, then it should pay for this one,” Wolbrecht continued. “We just had that fight over contraception … There is such disagreement in experience and belief about when life begins that we do have to fall back on this and say, ‘Okay, we have to let people make their own decision.’”
The pro-life response
Notre Dame Right to Life Director of Spirituality Noelle Johnson turned the debate around by asking the panelists why their push for equality and justice does not include preborn children.
Graubart voiced a quick comeback to Johnson by attempting to dehumanize preborn babies.
“Well, I think one part of it is: when do you define something as a child?” Graubart posed. “I think having borne a child, I can tell you that I don’t think that I had a child [in my womb]. I mean, I had a potential child inside me for a number of months, which then developed into a child. I don’t believe in the soul, so that’s not an interesting argument to me, so I think that because science isn’t going to tell us when that clump of cells goes to being a child, that that should then be between you and your doctor to make that decision rather than the government.”
Wait a minute here …
Connell took offence to Graubart referring to a human baby as an unwanted growth.
“I was genuinely shocked to hear one of the panelists [Graubart] describe the unborn child as a ‘clump of cells,’” Connell told the campus daily. “I thought the abortion debate had moved beyond using such unscientific terms to describe the developing human in the womb – especially at Notre Dame. I support honest engagement of a wide range of ideas on campus. That said, ‘Reversing Roe’ was less an exploration of any meaningful ideas and more a laughable attempt to paint the pro-life movement as a patriarchal group of men trying to control women’s lives. A cursory look at the actual pro-life movement and its most prominent leaders easily refutes this effort.”
He also failed to see any rational explanation for the Notre Dame professors’ argument that abortion helps minorities.
“Connell told The Irish Rover that the professors’ statements were puzzling, since abortion claims the lives of more unborn minority babies than white babies,” TheBlaze reported.
With Notre Dame professing to be a marketplace of ideas, it reportedly fell short of this boast by essentially silencing the pro-life argument of the abortion debate during its “Reversing Roe” event.
“According to the University of Notre Dame’s Academic Freedom and Associated Responsibilities policy in the Faculty Handbook, ‘Freedom of inquiry and freedom of expression are safeguarded by the University,’” The Irish Rover’s Ellie Gardey explained. “The handbook also outlines an obligation to have ‘in the course of one’s utterances, work and other conduct, protection of the basic mission of the University.’ The ‘Reversing Roe’ panel did not feature any pro-life commentators or respondents.”
Pushing abortion on campus
Besides hosting the controversial pro-abortion campus event, Irish 4 Reproductive Health regularly and freely distributes condoms to students on campus.
“Irish 4 Reproductive Health advocates for ‘reproductive justice’ and ‘works to expand access to reproductive health resources and information at the University of Notre Dame.’” Gardey noted. “Last spring, the group held condom distributions on campus and began distributing condoms via a Snapchat service in which students can request that they be delivered to their dorms on weekend nights. The University administration has been informed of Irish 4 Reproductive Health’s on-campus condom distributions, but has taken no disciplinary action against them.”
The ultra-left group continues to aggressively promote abortion to students while encouraging a sexual libertine campus lifestyle.
“Two days following their ‘Reversing Roe’ event, Irish 4 Reproductive Health attended a ‘Shout Your Abortion’ event with Pro-Choice South Bend,” Gardey added. “This event was a public forum in which women told stories of abortions they had procured with the goal of encouraging pro-choice policies and viewpoints.”
Let the facts – not emotions – speak
In the face of Notre Dame professors’ pro-abortion arguments touting the lethal practice as benefitting minorities, statistics prove that African Americans have been victims of so-called women’s reproductive rights for decades.
“In the United States, the abortion rate for Black women is almost four times that of White women,” Right to Life Michigan statistics show on its website. “On average, 900 black babies are aborted every day in the United States. This tragedy continues to impact the population levels of African-Americans in the United States.”
In fact, with more than 60 million preborn babies killed since abortion was legalized more than four decades ago, nearly one-third of them were African American, and other minorities were disproportionately represented, as well.
“More than 19 million black babies have been aborted since the 1973 Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision legalized abortion in our country,” the Michigan pro-life group divulged. “Non-Hispanic black women have a significantly higher abortion rate (25.1 per 1000 women of reproductive age) than that of Non-Hispanic whites (6.8) and Hispanics (11.2). Thirty-six (36) percent of all abortions in the U.S. in 2014 were performed on black women, however, only about 13.3 percent of the total population is black.”
Blacks continue to have disproportionally more abortions than other minority groups and whites.
“African-Americans are no longer the nation’s largest minority group,” Right to Life Michigan states. “Today, Hispanics have outpaced blacks in population growth. For every 1,000 live births, non-Hispanic Black women had 390 abortions. Non-Hispanic white women had 111 abortions per 1,000 live births.”
When looking at the three demographic groups, it becomes clear that abortion detrimentally affects a greater percentage of minorities in America than Americans of European descent.
“Additionally, the Guttmacher Institute reported in its January 2018 ‘fact sheet’ that whites represented 39 percent of abortion procedures in 2014, compared to 28 percent for blacks, 25 percent for Hispanics, and 9 percent for other races and ethnicities,” TheBlaze’s Teri Webster noted. “In other words, 62 percent of abortions were performed on non-whites.”