It’s not a secret that Black women have higher abortion rates than women of other races in the U.S. And while reproductive justice advocates believe that these numbers desperately call for better access to birth control and quality health care, conservatives and anti-abortion activists believe something sinister is going on.
For years, they have told us that women’s health clinics like Planned Parenthood are out to “kill our babies” by setting up more shops in Black and Latino communities compared to white ones. But here’s the thing: That’s just not true.
Researchers from the Guttmacher Institute analyzed U.S. Census data and found that 60 percent of clinics that offer abortions are located in predominantly white neighborhoods with only 6 percent in Black neighborhoods, 13 percent in Latino ones and 18 percent in areas that were racially diverse.
Delving deeper into the data, for clinics that perform more than 400 abortions a year, the data was pretty similar. Fifty-eight percent were in mostly white areas, 9 percent were in Black ones, 16 percent in Latino communities and 16 percent being in racially diverse areas.
And yes, you can trust this information, Dr. Vanessa Cullins, Planned Parenthood Federation of America Vice President of External Medical Affairs, told BET.com.
“The Guttmacher Institute is a leading, independent, nationally recognized reproductive health research and policy organization and we appreciate its unbiased findings that debunk the claim that a majority of abortion providers are located in Black neighborhoods.”
Cullins also emphasizes that believing the hype that anti-abortion activists spew distracts us from the addressing the real issues that affect women of color.
"Continuing to perpetuate this myth does little to address the need for more access to care as well as slows down efforts to improve health outcomes and quality of life. Every day, [Planned Parenthood] tries to break down the barriers to health care and improve access to all. We are committed to ensuring all communities have a full range of high quality health care, regardless of where they live, race, ethnic background or income level."
In the end, regardless of which side of this debate we stand on — pro-choice or pro-life — it’s extremely important that, no matter what, we are always pro-facts.
BET Health News - We go beyond the music and entertainment world to bring you important medical information and health-related tips of special relevance to Blacks in the U.S. and around the world. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
(Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)