House Republicans Pretend to Care About Black Women

Mother Jones’ Nick Baumann reports that House Republicans have turned their attention to abortion rates among African American women:

A House GOP memo obtained by Mother Jones argues for a controversial “prenatal discrimination bill” by referring to “black abortions” as distinct from abortions in general and claiming that “abortion is the leading cause of death in the black community.” […]

[B]ackers of Franks’ bill, including Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the powerful chairman of the judiciary committee, have pointing to a supposed epidemic of abortions based on the race of the fetus—an argument that dominates the memo below.

More than anything, I find this hilarious; as I said on Twitter, the notion that black women are having abortions because of the race of the fetus is absolutely nonsensical.

Even if this were true, however, it’s clear that this doesn’t come from a place of concern. If House Republicans were genuinely worried about the African American abortion rate, they would take steps to alleviate the pressures that make abortion an unavoidable option, from the lack of affordable health care (including contraceptives) to childcare and high joblessness. This wouldn’t eliminate abortions—nothing could do that—but it would almost certainly reduce them.

As it stands, Republicans have proposed nothing of the sort, which strongly suggests that this has more to do with the faux-concern of anti-choice activists than it does with actually improving the health of black women.