During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing titled “The Assault on Reproductive Rights in a Post-Dobbs America” on Wednesday, Professor of Law Michele Goodwin from the University of California, Irvine, made a controversial comparison between the harm caused by anti-abortion laws and slavery. Goodwin continuously compared the suffering that black women endured during slavery and Jim Crow laws to current abortion restrictions, which she argued are spreading through the U.S.’s confederacy.
Slavery and abortion are two very different things https://t.co/HyqemmTN4Y
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) April 26, 2023
The hearing was organized by Judiciary Democrats after a Texas judge suspended the FDA’s approval of abortion pill mifepristone, which was later stayed by the Supreme Court pending appeal in the Fifth Circuit. However, Goodwin mainly focused on Mississippi’s history as one of the most unfriendly places for black women, even dating back to slavery.
During her testimony, Goodwin emphasized the importance of working together to address the issue at hand, stating that “if we don’t thread that needle together, then there’s a lot that we are missing.” She went on to highlight Mississippi’s high mortality rate for pregnant women, which she noted is not only one of the highest in the country but also one of the highest in the industrialized world.
Goodwin also provided various examples throughout history where black women have been mistreated or exploited, and argued that current anti-abortion measures, which are spreading through former confederate states, would disproportionately harm those who have already been historically marginalized. She specifically pointed out that black women have suffered greatly from American slavery and Jim Crow laws, and would continue to be disproportionately affected by these new laws.
Goodwin reminded the committee that during American slavery, forced pregnancy was a prevalent practice. She stressed the importance of recalling the efforts to ratify the 13th amendment, which abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, and specifically acknowledged the forced pregnancies that black women and girls were subjected to.
Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono from Hawaii expressed agreement with Goodwin, noting that there was a time when women did not have autonomy over their bodies, similar to the present situation. Hirono thanked Goodwin for reminding the committee of this important historical context.
Unfortunately, the Democrats continue to push their false narratives and misrepresent reality. The comparison between anti-abortion legislation and slavery is both offensive and dangerous. It is a shameful attempt to garner support for their destructive policies that hurt women and the unborn.