The Richmond Times-Dispatch staff opinion piece for this week starts off on a relatively promising note: it accurately portrays AG Cuccinelli’s recent legal overreach on the Board of Health TRAP decision, notes that the Family Foundation mischaracterized the safety of Virginia abortion clinics, and explicitly describes abortion as a right.
Then, apparently pursuing some misguided notion of balanced journalism as a duty to agree with both sides of a controversy, we get this: the “abortion industry” is “a business that makes a disproportionate share of its profit from the termination of African-American pregnancies.” Just like predatory banks. And it’s grossly hypocritical of “hyperventilating liberals” to go after predatory lenders for their “perceived racial bias”, but not abortion providers.
It’s like the staff writers grudgingly agreed that the BOH decision to shut down women’s health clinics was egregious, then shuddered and decided that the only way to get that gross progressive taste out of their mouths was to call abortion providers racist- in a comparison that questions the validity of criticizing predatory lenders, to boot.
It’s not even agoodcriticism of the pro-access camp. It’s contrived. To do it, they had to characterize abortion providers as a profit-driven business (which it isn’t, the same way neurosurgery is not a capitalist venture), and then equate an elective and needed medical procedure to a fraudulent financial crime.
(I would hope that it’s unnecessary to say this, but I will anyway, for the benefit of the RTD: Black women don’t get abortions because some sinister clinician convinces them to. They don’t get abortions because they don’t really understand what they’re doing and were led astray. They get abortionsbecause they need an abortion. Just like any other woman.The implication that black women are routinely scammed into terminating their pregnancies portrays black women as incapable of making reproductive decisions for their own well being, or with a consciousness of what those decisions mean. It’s demeaning.)
Somehow, they turned an anti-Cuccinelli, pro-access opinion piece into an accusation of profit-driven racism and leftist hypocrisy, with a jab at black women thrown in as a rhetorical point. Tellingly, the final paragraph characterizes the anti-abortion stance as “respectable” and “noble”.
For supposedly coming down on my side, this article sure felt like a kick in the teeth.