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The Medical Establishment’s Racist, Classist Argument For Abortion

The American medical establishment markets itself as a champion for all patients’ dignity and pretends to be an ally of marginalized women. But in its passionate support of abortion, in the very arguments it uses to justify that support, the medical establishment is actually upholding a destructive, defeatist, and racist philosophy.

In the wake of the Dobbs decision that removed federal abortion protections and returned power to the states to make their own abortion laws, the president of the American Medical Association published a statement condemning the Supreme Court decision as an immoral intrusion of government into the private affairs of patients and their physicians. In July of 2022, a few weeks after the Dobbs decision, the AMA published a follow-up article on their website, arguing that abortion bans would have dire effects on women’s overall health. In October of that same year, the New England Journal of Medicine published an article calling abortion access a racial justice issue. These publications from medical elites reveal a racist mentality and insidiously devalue human life, especially the lives of those facing genuine hardship.

In his statement, AMA President Jack Resneck called the Dobbs decision an “assault on reproductive health” and “safe medical practice.”

In one noteworthy section of his statement, the president asserted: “Access to legal reproductive care will be limited to those with the sufficient resources, circumstances, and financial means to do so—exacerbating health inequities by placing the heaviest burden on patients from Black, Latinx, Indigenous, low-income, rural and other historically disadvantaged communities that already face numerous structural and systemic barriers to accessing health care.”

In the AMA’s follow up article posted a couple weeks after Dr. Resneck gave his statement, AMA contributing news writer Tanya Albert Henry pointed to research conducted by University of California San Francisco faculty that suggests that women seeking abortions who are denied those abortions face worse health and economic outcomes than women not denied abortions. The San Francisco researchers conducted a five-year study of 956 women who wanted abortions, 231 of whom were prevented from getting abortions by state laws. While the study looked at multiple areas of life, including physical and mental health, Henry’s article placed much emphasis on the women’s economic situations. According to Henry, the study found that women who did not receive abortions were more likely to raise their children alone, “live in households that drop below the poverty level,” and “lack enough money to pay for food, housing and transportation.” Diana Greene Foster, the director of the research, said that “Access to abortion enables women to have children at a time when they have more resources – financial and emotional — to devote to their children.”

The heads of the AMA think they are promoting human rights and protecting their patients from injustice. But there’s just one problem. Ending a pregnancy ends a human life. Even if you reject the scientific fact that human life begins at fertilization, when an embryo with unique DNA is created, there is no denying that the pregnancy, without interference, will result in the birth of a new human being. With that indisputable fact in mind, the AMA’s pro-abortion arguments take on a morally ghoulish character.

President Resneck thinks it a travesty that “black, Latinx” and “low income”women cannot access abortion as easily with Roe reversed. Resneck believes the world would be a better place if fewer black, Latino, and poor children were born. For him, being black and living in poverty is such a hard, miserable existence with so much suffering involved that it would be better to be killed in the womb than to endure that horrible fate.

Diana Foster and the other University of California San Francisco researchers share President Resneck’s mindset when it comes to poverty. They think that if mothers struggle financially while trying to raise their children, resulting in those children not always having their needs met, it would be better for those children not to have a chance at life at all.

These medical experts believe so strongly that systematic oppression is embedded in this country and cannot be overcome. For them, racism is ubiquitous and unavoidable. Poverty is inescapable. Children who come from hard backgrounds can never rise above their past. Giving birth to them is dooming them to misery. The kind, humane thing to do is to cut their lives short. This thinking is hideous. Medical experts, who know abortion ends a life, should not be advocating for the termination of any woman’s pregnancy, no matter her race, no matter her situation. Every human being, from the moment of conception, deserves the same respect. Every human life, once created, has a right to exist. No matter how many studies they conduct, medical experts have no right to assert that black or brown children or children from poor families are any less capable of making a better future for themselves than any other children.

The authors who wrote the New England Journal of Medicine article linking abortion and racial justice make a different point, but it’s a point just as defeatist as the AMA’s arguments. They point out the high maternal mortality rate among black women and argue that abortion is safer for these women than carrying their babies to term. In other words, because there are parts of the country where certain black women do not have access to the potentially life-saving care they need during pregnancy, we need to ensure that they can abort their babies. Why is that the solution? Why not invest resources into researching and addressing the causes of pregnancy complications and maternal mortality among black women so that their lives and their babies’ lives can be saved?

The AMA and the New England Journal of Medicine are not wrong to point out the real hardships that many pregnant women face in this country. But their insistence that impoverished and marginalized women will be better off if they can abort their babies is racist and classist. These leading medical institutions should not be focusing an ounce of their energy on fighting the Dobbs decision. Instead, they should be working to improve maternal medicine so that pregnant women have better health outcomes. 

Emmie Lo is a writer and Latin teacher currently living in Jacksonville, Florida. You can read her personal blog at and follow her on Twitter at @teabooksgirl.

The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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