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Notre Dame professors claim pro-life movement has white supremacy agenda. The facts say otherwise.


One refers to unborn baby as 'clump of cells'

BSIP/UIG via Getty Images

During a panel discussion at Notre Dame, college professors claimed the pro-life movement is a scheme to make sure the U.S. remains a white-majority nation.

What groups held the discussion?

The event, called "Reversing Roe," was hosted by the Notre Dame Gender Studies Department, the St. Mary's College Gender Studies Department and the nonprofit organization Irish 4 Reproductive Health, according to The Irish Rover, Notre Dame's student newspaper.

Dianne Pinderhughes, a professor of Africana studies and political science, said the pro-life moment is designed to make sure the country stays "predominantly, overwhelmingly white," the newspaper reported.

"[Abortion] is an issue that allows for an effort to control the place of women," Pinderhughes said. "I'm sure you figured that out, or you wouldn't be at this event. But also how people will reproduce, what the population will be, what it will be like. Those who push so aggressively for reproduction, continued reproduction without any controls, are those who are also more likely to be in support of making sure the country stays predominantly, overwhelmingly white."

Professor of gender studies Pam Butler agreed, and called the pro-life movement a "white supremacist" agenda.

"[Abortion] got politicized in a moment of a white supremacist strategy of the right wing of the Republican party to mobilize a very specific set of evangelical Christians in the United States as a base," she said.

What do the stats show?

Matt Connell, vice president of communications for Notre Dame Right to Life, told the Irish Rover that the professors' statements were puzzling, since abortion claims the lives of more unborn minority babies than white babies.

For example, the abortion rate for black women is nearly four times the rate for white women, according to stats compiled by Right to Life Michigan. Nationally, the abortion rate for black women was (25.1 per 1000 women of reproductive age), compared to Hispanic women (11.2) and non-Hispanic white women (6.8).

Additionally, the Guttmacher Institute reported in its January 2018 "fact sheet" that whites represented 39 percent of abortion procedures in 2014, compared to 28 percent for blacks, 25 percent for Hispanics, and 9 percent for other races and ethnicities. In other words, 62 percent of abortions were performed on non-whites.

Noelle Johnson, Director of Spirituality for Notre Dame Right to Life, asked the panelists why their quest for equality and justice does not extend to unborn children.

According to the report, Graubart responded by asking her to define what is a "child." She also said she doesn't believe in the concept of a soul and referred to an unborn child as a "clump of cells."

"Well, I think one part of it is: when do you define something as a child?" Graubart said. "I think having borne a child, I can tell you that I don't think that I had a child [in my womb]. I mean I had a potential child inside me for a number of months, which then developed into a child. I don't believe in the soul, so that's not an interesting argument to me, so I think that because science isn't going to tell us when that clump of cells goes to being a child, that that should then be between you and your doctor to make that decision rather than the government."
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