…“If you think about it, the claim that abortion is like slavery is exactly backwards,” wrote Imani Gandy at RH Reality Check. “I’m not a fan of comparing anything to slavery that is not slavery, but I’m fairly certain that we can all agree that slaveowners systematically forced Black women to give birth.”
Slave owners often used enslaved women as breeding stock to produce new future slaves. Women were raped by their masters and forced to bear the resulting children. They had no rights to their own offspring, much less their own bodies — they were sold away or beaten if they couldn’t or wouldn’t reproduce, and if they did have children there was no guarantee they’d ever get to raise them. For black women forced to live as slaves, home remedies for contraception or abortion became forms of self-defense and resistance, and assertions of personal autonomy when they otherwise had none.
Comparing abortion to slavery brushes aside that history — especially the history of rape, which Carson doesn’t believe should be a reason for legal abortion. It also trivializes women’s need for autonomy, especially black women’s.
Carson and other abortion opponents “think it’s clever to compare abortion to slavery or the Holocaust … yet they fail to look at what actually happened during those times,” said reproductive justice advocate Renee Bracey Sherman, who is a biracial black woman. “That’s offensive to all of our ancestors, and erases the very real experiences of black women today.”…