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S.E. Williams |

The  repeal of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday, June 24 is projected to have a devastating  impact on the quality of life for all women especially women of color (and their children) who survive on the margins of this country’s economy. 

The ruling is forcing parts of this nation further into a dystopian reality where women no longer have control over their own bodies, and by tragic default, their lives.

Watching the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justices Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett in recent years, their gaslighting on the issue of Roe v Wade was as obvious as their thinly veiled/failed and flimsy commitment to consider their decisions in alignment with previous court decisions. They waved the flag of stare decisis as a shield all the while knowing they had all the power and freedom in the world to ignore it and work their will.  

As such, the question before us today is whether the action taken by zealots on the high Court last week was really their acquiescing to pressures from the religious right– even though the question of when life begins remains an ethical dilemma and even as a recent CBS survey shows 59% of all Americans and 67% of women disapprove of the court’s action to repeal Roe v. Wade. 

The IE Voice and Black Voice News conducted its own limited poll of readers on Friday asking whether they agreed with the Court’s decision and as of Monday evening, 100% of respondents answered, “No’. 

Americans are opposed 

With the majority in the nation squarely against the high court’s action, it has left me searching for some other motivation, some other reason for the obsession to take away a woman’s right to choose. The minority who support state control of women’s bodies, express concerns over the sanctity of life and the need to protect it, but, just like the justices who feigned allegiance to stare decisis, their proclaimed commitment and concern for life rings equally hollow.

This nation proves everyday how little it values human life especially when you consider many of the same people who fought and advocated against Roe v. Wade are also strong proponents of the Second Amendment without restrictions even as guns are the second leading cause of death for the same American children they insist women bring into the world. 

If concern for the sanctity of life was truly the reason Right to Life activists fought to repeal nationwide access to abortions,  we would not have 17 million children living in poverty in America. We would not have 11 million children who are food insecure in America. We would not have a staggering 2.5 million homeless children in America, nor would we have nearly a half million babies, children and youth languishing in a foster care system in America that is wholly incapable of meeting these children’s basic emotional needs, needs that extend beyond food, clothing and shelter. This lack of capacity results in many emotionally damaged youth aging out of America’s foster care system each year, most often without even the undergirding support needed to establish themselves in the world. Luckily, California is leading the way by implementing a safety net for these young people. 

It’s about more than “Mad Men”    

There must be something else driving this movement to control women and their reproductive choices beyond our being caught in a “Mad Men” time warp. Something sinister, and sinister actions in this country often lead back to the same old white nationalist sentiments that continue to hold this nation captive to their grievances. It is the fearful mindset of white supremacists over losing something they never really had outside the boundaries of western nations as it relates to the world at large.  

There are eight billion people in the world and the majority have been and continue to be people of color. People of Asian descent account for nearly 50% of the world’s population, Blacks 16.7%,  Latin and Caribbean peoples another 8.4% collectively– that’s 75.1% of the world’s population and these trends in demographics are not new.–they have remained fairly consistent for thousands of years. 

Despite the replacement theory occupying the minds of the mindless in America, the percentage share of people of color in the world has remained fairly consistent for thousands of years. 

America brags to the world about its status as a melting pot when–were it left to the choices of white supremacits–it would be more like a sauce pan. It is mind boggling for  white supremacists  to think this is their country and they must remain in the majority to maintain control, when leaders of this nation have known since the beginning that as more people immigrated here the probability of white people maintaining the majority was highly improbable, if not impossible.

An important finding in the new census data is the decline of the nationwide white population for the third consecutive year. Between 2016 and 2019, the white population declined from 197,845,666 to 197,309,822, in yearly amounts of -97,507, -212,957 and -225,380. This three-year loss of over a half-million whites was enough to counter gains earlier in the decade, in total yielding a loss of white U.S. residents from 2010 to 2019.  (brookings.edu).

Declining sperm counts 

They have tried to slow the tide of a diminishing white population and maintain the advantages as the largest percent of the American population through a variety of interventions including in vitro fertilization, surrogate mothers, by limiting immigration, legalizing and activating involuntary sterilization for minorities, criminals and the poor (another wayward Supreme Court ruling), and the list goes on. At the same time, however, there is another looming concern.

I tend to agree with some who say the irrational obsession with controlling reproduction may have more to do with declining sperm counts impacting fertility and while it is happening to men across the board, many reports show a larger impact in western countries. White supremacists are leveraging this as a way to work their will and stoke their fictional replacement theory. Although there has been national reporting on this issue, the world’s declining sperm count is a topic media outlets tend to shy away from. 

Many scientists agree sperm counts have declined and have been declining for nearly a hundred years. A  1992 study found a global, 50% reduction in sperm counts in men over the previous 60 years. And several studies since confirmed the 1992 findings. For example a 2017 paper marked a 50% to 60% decline in sperm concentration between 1973 and 2011 again, not only in relation to men in America but men all over the world. 

There is some research stating the declining human sperm count among men in Western countries may be overblown but not enough has been written in this regard to offset prevailing scientific wisdom.

What I see in the reversal of Roe v. Wade is not some idealistic adherence to religious orthodoxy–though that may account for part of it. What I believe helped drive the movement against Roe v. Wade is the same racist ideology conspiring to keep immigrants and asylum seekers of color from American shores. It is the same reason they care so little for the certain death they are ascribing to poor white and women of color–those they once codified into law as unworthy of reproducing so we know there is no qualitative concern for their lives. America is turning back the clock to a time when women had no right to decide about their own bodies, when women had to seek abortion services in back alleys. 

“The wealthy and privileged will always be able to access abortion – it is people with low-incomes, Black, Indigenous and other people of color, people in rural areas, and other people who face structural barriers to care who will be disproportionately harmed by today’s decision,” said Elizabeth Taylor, Executive Director at the National Health Law Program.  

I believe Governor Gavin Newsom summed it up best when he declared in response to the Supreme Court decision last week, “This is another devastating step toward erasing the rights and liberties Americans have fought for on battlefields, in courthouses and in capitols.”  

So, where do we go from here? I am an advocate for expanding the Supreme Court and putting pressure on Congress to pass abortion rights’  legislation. In the meantime, those of us with modest means should do what we can to financially support groups working with women in states without access to abortion to help pay for transportation and other services to help ensure they can access safe abortion care. Or, donate to legal organizations offering to provide representation to those who may find themselves embroiled in criminal cases related to their abortion choices. There are lots of ways to make a difference. 

Of course, this is just my opinion. I’m keeping it real.

S.E. Williams

Stephanie Williams is executive editor of the IE Voice and Black Voice News. A longtime champion for civil rights and social justice in all its forms, she is also an advocate for government transparency and committed to ferreting out and exposing government corruption. Over the years Stephanie has reported for other publications in the inland region and Los Angeles and received awards from the California News Publishers Association for her investigative reporting and Ethnic Media Services for her weekly column, Keeping it Real. She also served as a Health Journalism Fellow with the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism. Contact Stephanie with tips, comments. or concerns at myopinion@ievoice.com.