Countering elitism of pro-choice advocates within the abortion debate

I read with shock Leah Lancaster’s Oct. 22 column “Behind the propaganda” on abortion. While Lancaster delivers good evidence that abortion is more prevalent among low-income and minority women, she uses this to justify a ridiculous attack that the pro-life movement has “inherent racism.” Lancaster blatantly ignores the fact that these demographics are some of the most pro-life groups in the U.S.

According to the respected polling firm Gallup, which has been conducting the same poll on abortion for decades, people of color surveyed earlier this year identified as pro-life by a whopping 14 point margin; with white voters, the same difference was 7 points.

With low-income voters the trend is more pronounced, with people making less than $30,000 a year identifying as pro-life by a 16 point margin, versus a 4 point margin in favor of choice for those making over $75,000. Women identify as pro-life by a 2 point margin, 44-46 percent.

These results closely follow those of other polls from places like CNN and CBS, and they point to exactly the opposite of Lancaster’s baseless claims that “most pro-life advocates are white Christians that face a completely different set of circumstances than that of low-income, minority women.”

In fact, low-income, minority women make up a significant portion of the pro-life movement, as Lancaster would observe if she familiarized herself with it before making unsubstantiated
claims.

To be clear, I am not defending the abortion foes that Lancaster observed in front of Coffman Union, nor do I affiliate with them on the issue.

My concern is with the low ground that Lancaster has decided to take in this debate, lobbing personal insults by minimizing the work and beliefs of the many low-income, minority women who care passionately about their pro-life position, ironically attacking the same people she wants to help. This will never get to the root of their concern: the point at which life begins.

Lancaster’s argument here is the sort that makes enemies instead of solving problems, at best as a series of baseless claims and at worst as another example of the educated elite thinking it knows better about what poor people of color should believe on these personal issues than they do themselves.