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The Right to (Black) Life


Today marks three years since Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, Mo., by a police officer. That’s three years that his mother, Lesley McSpadden, has mourned her son.

Ms. McSpadden and other mothers of black people slain by police in recent years have become emblems of the movement against racialized police violence. But they represent something bigger: the heartbreaking dilemmas black women face at every point in the motherhood journey.

Many American women live under a fog of critique about our choices when it comes to our reproductive health and motherhood. But this is especially true for black women.

If we choose to have an abortion, we are cast as villains by anti-abortion campaigns that tap into the trauma of our country’s racial history. Outside of clinics, I often hear protesters shout racial slurs and say things like “unborn black lives matter” when black people walk past them.

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Read more at the New York Times