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Monday, December 26, 2005

Abortion: An Environmental Justice Issue?

Forty percent of abortions in the U.S. are by black women. There are roughly 1.3 million abortions in the U.S. each year. Environmental justice is the equal protection of everybody with respect to environmental issues. There are disproportionately larger numbers of abortions by black women, so it is an environmental justice issue to the extent that black fetuses are not being equally protected. But environmental justice usually speaks to racial disparities in the siting of toxic waste facilities and proximity to sources of pollution.

Abortion is a decision by a black woman regarding the environment of her own body and that of the developing person. Thus, environmental racism is not an issue in an environmental justice context. Black abortions also outnumber black-on-black murders by hundreds of thousands each year. The health and welfare of the fetus in the womb is clearly an environmental issue. A woman's right to choose the environment in her body versus the right of the newly conceived to live is a modern dilemma. What is your position on this vital environmental issue?

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