Black Americans overwhelmingly support abortion rights and Roe

Black person with pregnancy test

Photo: Catherine McQueen (Getty Images)

Whether you supported Roe v. Wade or not, the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe is clearly impacting black Americans.

The majority of Black Americans live in the southern stateswhere most post-Roe abortion bans being enacted. And black Americans receive more abortion care than any other group in the United States, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

But, impact aside, what do black people really think about abortion and the end of Roe?

A recent poll suggests that black Americans largely disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe, the case establishing the constitutional right to abortion.

In July, Pew Rresearch has revealed that 67% of black Americans disapproved that the Supreme Court struck down Roe, compared to 55% of white Americans who disagreed with the decision.

In the same poll, 71% of black respondents said abortion should be legal in all or most cases. Roughly 40% of black respondents declared that abortion should be legal in all cases. And only 9% of black respondents declared that abortion should be illegal in all cases.

When it comes to the criminalization of women who have abortions, black Americans are also aligned, according to the GenForward survey conducted in July by the University of Chicago. The investigation revealed that only 9 percentt of black Americans think women in states where abortion is now illegal should go to jail.

Ashley Malone, a 24-year-old black New Yorker, said the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe was like “a punch in the stomach.”

“I feel like it’s a little crazy, especially with people in jail for something that involves their own bodies,” Malone says. “I feel like it takes away all rights over their own bodies and that’s ridiculous.”

Malone isn’t the only one feeling outraged by the Supreme Court’s decision.

“It really sucks for the government to tell people what they should and shouldn’t do with their bodies,” says Aaron Watford, 50, a black man from Brooklyn, New York. “It should be legal for everyone, for every woman, for every man, who decides they want to have the right to make their own decisions for their own body.”

However, as polls suggest, black Americans do not completely agree on when abortion should be illegal.

Alicia Broaddus, 52, a black executive assistant who runs a youth basketball program in the Bronx, says she is not in favor of abortion being legal in all cases.

“Some people may possibly take advantage of the situation and wait too long to make a decision,” Broaddus says, “so I’m against that.”

However, Broaddus says she supports abortion in most cases, mostly because she had one herself.

“I had precancerous cells on my cervix and found out I was pregnant at the same time,” Broaddus says. “So I had to abort for that reason or else…I probably would have gotten cancer.”

Ava Purkiss, ahelper pprofessor of black women’s history at the University of Michigan, says it’s no surprise that black people can generally support abortion rights while, in some cases, having conflicting feelings about abortion. ‘abortion.

“Black people are capable of harboring complex and even ambivalent feelings about abortion,” Purkiss says. “But can still support political imperatives that help ensure bodily autonomy and racial justice and access to health care.”

Purkiss says it’s a common misconception that just because most black Americans Iidentify as religiousthey would be less inclined to support the right to abortion.

In fact, the July Pew Research survey found that black Protestants are just as likely to say abortion should be legal in all or most cases as the general black population.

“Abortion is much more than the termination of a pregnancy. Abortion is about mobility, it’s about autonomy and self-determination,” Purkiss says. “I suspect that Black of people support Roe even with some of these religious commitments.

Douglas Wilson, 43, a black political consultant in Charlotte, North Carolina, says his faith actually influences his belief that abortion should be legal.

“If you look at it from a religious point of view, God gives us agency. It’s true,” Wilson said. “And so God gives you the ability to make a decision about your own body. So it’s between you and God…it’s not a government that should tell you, you shouldn’t do this.


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