I’ve Lost Faith in the Way the Black Church Polices Women’s Bodies

August 23, 2019

“If I get pregnant again, I’m having an abortion!”

My nineteen-year-old sister, who had just given birth, said this in jest to me when I was 11. We didn’t condemn abortion; rather, we talked about it as a matter-of-fact social good, kind of like getting your tonsils taken out. I never truly understood it as a sinful, undesirable procedure, but a banal alternative to pregnancy and motherhood.

My parents did not teach my sister and me that teenage pregnancy and abortion were atrocities and grounds for shame and the source of imminent poverty. My parents explained to us that continuous racism, such as racist housing policies and discrimination in classrooms and job interviews, are some of the ways Black people remain in poverty.

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