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Editorial

OUR VOICES: THE HYPOCRISY: States with death penalty want to overturn Roe V. Wade

By Tanesha Peeples
Black Wall Street Times

It’s infuriating that in the year 2022, people have the unmitigated gall to tell women what to do with our bodies. What’s even more infuriating is the hypocrisy and contradiction that drive these patriarchal and archaic ass attempts to end Roe v Wade.

At the top of the week, Politico reported on leaked documents from the Supreme Court signaling that it was moving towards reversing the landmark ruling, Roe v. Wade.

Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, making it legal for women to terminate their pregnancy during the first trimester. Ever since then, there have been national attacks and successful attempts to restrict and bar women’s rights in regards to their reproductive health.

Pro-life supporters have based their criticism and repeal of Roe v. Wade in wanting to preserve the sanctity of life but when it comes to advocacy, that’s where the buck stops. If you ask me, these people aren’t all concerned with folx quality of life. They’re sitting so high up on their horses that clouds of privilege, judgment and delusion are blocking their view of reality and humanity.

Now, if the true goal for ending Roe v Wade is to preserve the “sanctity” of life then why is it that most of these states that have anti-abortion laws are ones that also support capital punishment? Isn’t a life a life?

Death penalty states want to play God

In response to the leaked Supreme Court opinions, Georgia State Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene – one politician many of us love to despise – said, “Life starts at conception. Our constitution never did and never will give the right to murder another human being in the womb .”

If I had the chance to sit down with Marjorie – which would be a frigidly cold day in Hell – I’d ask her about her thoughts on murder outside of the womb.

Her state of Georgia has upheld the death penalty for 300 years, with thousands of executions on record. Did those people not deserve protection of the sanctity of life, too?

Oklahoma is also another contradiction culprit, ranking number one in executions per capita. The state has “legally” executed 199 people since 1915–not including the over 300 illegally executed in the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

Despite having a gruesome state-sanctioned murder rate, Oklahoma recently passed a bill mirroring Texas’ strict abortion policies.

In addition to Georgia and Oklahoma, 13 other death penalty states have trigger laws in place and waiting to be dropped the minute the Supreme Court pulls Roe v. Wade.

So how can these lawmakers say they’re legally entitled to decide the fate of a life but tell women they can’t make that same decision? As anti-BLM people like to say, don’t “all lives matter”?

Ending Roe v Wade won’t stop abortions

What will we see if Roe v. Wade is overturned? Certainly, an increase in unsafe procedures.

According to Planned Parenthood, by 1965, illegal abortions made up one-sixth of all pregnancy-related deaths in the United States. The site also states, “Overturning Roe v. Wade could put safe, legal abortion out of reach for one-third of people ages 15 to 49 who may need it.”

As we’ve seen in the past, women aren’t going to be backed into a corner when it comes to making decisions about their health if Roe v Wade is rescinded–they’re going to find another way. But, let’s just say they do decide to carry out the pregnancy and give the child up for adoption.

Why aren’t conservatives concerned about foster children?

Currently, there are over 400,000 kids in foster care across the United States. Children’s Rights reports that in 2019, more than 20,000 young people aged out of foster care without permanent families. Research has shown that those who leave care without being linked to forever families have a higher likelihood than youth in the general population to experience homelessness, unemployment, and incarceration as adults. What about their quality of life?

Finally, what kind of quality of life will there be for a mother who decides to keep their child and is forced to raise them in poverty; a mother who’s traumatized from being sexually assaulted by the child’s father; or a family who’s lost a loved one due to undiscovered, late-term pregnancy complications?

Anyone that has a heart doesn’t want to see a life terminated under any circumstances. But circumstances are different for different people and it’s not our place to judge or regulate what that person does with their body through policy or religion. Bottom line, you can be pro-life and pro-rights at the same time– it’s called pro-choice.

Tanesha Peeples is driven by one question in her work--"If not me then who?" As a strategist and injustice interrupter, Tanesha merges the worlds of communications and grassroots activism to push for radical change, specifically in the public education system. Her grand vision is one where everyone-regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender or zip code-can have access to a comfortable quality of life and enjoy the freedoms and liberties promised to all Americans. And that's what she works towards every day.
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