While Black women may not unanimously agree about the legality or morality of abortion, the fact remains that they will be most impacted by the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
“I’ll be damned if my children and the next generation have less access than myself.”
Amanda Brown Lierman is a Black mother of three, a doula, and the Executive Director at Supermajority, a voting advocacy hub created in 2017 to mobilize women across the country and defend women’s rights. Lierman, like many other women across the nation, felt gutted yet emboldened to fight like never before after the forecasted overturning of Roe v. Wade.
For nearly 50 years, abortions have been federally protected in the United States. Even with attempts to outlaw or restrict abortion access in various states, abortions have been relatively accessible for the last half-century. But that could soon change.
On the evening of May 3, a leaked Supreme Court draft written by Justice Samuel Alito sent shockwaves throughout the nation, as millions learned about the majority-conservative court’s plan to overturn Roe v. Wade. The nearly 100-page draft obtained by POLITICO would outlaw the landmark case, giving states the right to determine their own laws.
Although the legality of abortion has been framed as a binary of “pro-choice” or “pro-life,” there is a grey area for many Americans. The freedom to choose and the sanctity of life have been hot-button talking points debated for decades, with most people not taking an absolutist approach.
For Black women in particular — who account for the highest percent of people that get abortions in the country — the undoing of Roe v. Wade would impact them the greatest. Yet, Black women have an array of opinions when it comes to the legality and morality of abortions.
Adanna Newby is 24 and lives in Virginia. Although she doesn’t live in one of the 13 states that has trigger laws — laws that would automatically ban abortion in a state when it’s federally outlawed — she’s still concerned about the domino effect the ruling would have if Roe v. Wade no longer falls under the constitutional protection of Americans having a right to privacy.
“I think that does put a lot of the other landmark court decisions like interracial marriage, gay marriage, and right to contraception in jeopardy as well,” Newby said. “Even if they don’t go that route, I think all of those are fair game as well in the future.”
Newby said that if she were in the predicament of choosing whether to have an abortion or not, she would choose otherwise. Still, she believes that choice should be left up to each woman to make on her own.
“I do think that life does begin at conception. However, I don’t think that it would be right for me to impose my viewpoints on someone else,” she said. “I don’t think I would have any right to impart my own beliefs on them because I don’t know what is right for their life…I didn’t grow up religious. I just think that life is valuable and it also colors my perspective on the death penalty.”