Abortion is an emotional issue for many people on both sides of the debate. That is just the way it is, and there is no changing it. However, it is an issue that is emotional enough, contentious enough, without adding any unnecessary fuel to the fire. That is just what Alabama state congressman Alvin Holmes did on Tuesday, however.
The Alabama state legislature was debating a bill that would ban abortions in Alabama after a fetal heart beat can be detected. Holmes, a Democrat, proceed to make abortion a racial issue by claiming that white lawmakers–specifically white Republican lawmakers–would make their daughters get an abortion if they became pregnant by a black man.
The Independent Journal Review quoted Holmes from an audio recording of his speech it obtained from AL.com. Here is an excerpt:
If you ask the people in here now to raise their hands for those who are against abortion, 99% of all of the white people in here gonna raise their hands that they’re against abortion. On the other hand, 99% of the whites that are sitting in here now, if they’re daughter got pregnant by a black man, they’re gonna make their daughter have an abortion. They ain’t gonna let her have the baby.
You ain’t gonna have no black baby – if she got two other white children, and she gonna have a black baby – running around there in the living room, in the den with the rest of them. They’re not gonna let that happen – you know that and I know that. You will never admit it – you know that and I know that. All this stuff about abortion and this and that – that’s just a con game. That’s for whites, ain’t for blacks.
Holmes went so far as to ask a white woman in the chamber if she would allow her daughter to give birth to a mixed-race baby. When the woman replied that she would, Holmes said, “Well, I need to commend you, then. There wouldn’t be one out of 100,000 who would do that.” Really? Does Mr. Holmes truly believe that 0.00001 percent of whites would support their daughter and encourage her to give birth to her child if she became pregnant by an African American? I do not know if he believes it or not or if it is purely hyperbole, but his position is incendiary, offensive and not the least bit helpful.
The IJReview asks, “Why must Democrats resort to race baiting in order to try to win an argument?” Why, indeed? The issue of abortion is not a racial issue. Unlike homosexual marriage and other gay rights controversies the issue of abortion truly is a civil rights issue. If Mr. Holmes and others would allow themselves to debate the merits of an issue rather than tainting the matter by accusing those of another race of holding a position solely because of the color of their skin there would no doubt be much more beneficial discussion. If Mr. Holmes chooses to continue to support abortion on demand then I can take issue with him on that and he can take issue with me on my position that there is no constitutional right to abortion and that it is a practice that should be severely restricted. That he is black and I am white really doesn’t matter at all.