Michelle Obama Should Be Brave: Black Women and Reproductive Health Disparaties in the 2012 Presidential ElectionDecember 3, 2012
During the Democratic National Convention, just after Nancy Keenan, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America, announced that the Democratic Party was pro-choice, Michelle Obama proudly boasted that her husband, Barack Obama, “believes that women are more than capable of making our own choices about our bodies and healthcare… that’s what my husband stands for.” Though choice is a significant part of gaining gender equality, I remain struck by how our First Lady, a black woman with black daughters, has yet to talk about reproductive health as broader than ”choice.”
I recognize that black women’s issues are marginalized, and even black women themselves were invisible throughout this election. But when a black woman as influential and powerful as Michelle Obama talks about reproductive health, I expect her to talk about it from her own standpoint. Universalizing women’s issues and minimizing her black identity does not protect her, her daughters, or the countless other women of color whose reproductive health issues are far larger than choice.