Freedom Rides for Fetuses

The anti-choice organization Priests for Life chose the site of the black Baptist church bombing, a historical civil rights landmark in Birmingham, AL, to start their “Freedom Bus for the Unborn” campaign.

That’s right, they chose the spot where four black children were killed by the KKK to underline how abortion is the same as racially-motivated murder, and therefore black women should not have reproductive rights. Stellar logic.

Sez the Priests for Life website:

The Civil Rights movement and the Pro-Life movement have the same heart and soul: a longing for equal justice for everyone, based on the inherent dignity of every human life.

Hmmm…. puzzling. I always thought the pro-life movement was about restricting women’s reproductive choices. Could you explain a little more clearly?

The pro-life movement is all about freedom. That’s why Priests for Life, with the leadership of our Pastoral Associate Dr. Alveda King, is launching “Freedom Rides” for the unborn to galvanize pro-life activity across the country.


[The] “Pro-life Freedom Ride” [is] a peaceful, visible expression of the commitment of people around the country to work for freedom for the unborn.

I have to admit, I’m still confused. “Freedom for the unborn”? The “unborn” aren’t free because they are trapped in a womb. A womb belonging to an independent, living, breathing human being with rights. A human being who should be free to make decisions about her own life. So what does freedom for a fetus look like? Immediate release from the womb? I don’t get it. What about women’s freedom? What does this have to do with the rights of black people or the Civil Rights Movement?

From a press release by the reproductive justice org SisterSong:

Atlanta-based women of color organizations say an anti-abortion billboard campaign in Atlanta, along with so-called “Freedom Rides” scheduled this summer are no more than a ploy to turn back the clock on Black women’s right to reproductive freedom. In response to the billboard campaign, three reproductive justice groups plan a nonviolent resistance at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center on July 24, at 2:30 pm.

“We are offended by their cynicism, opportunism, and outright distortions of historical facts. Both Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King firmly supported reproductive justice for women. Lies by anti-abortionists, no matter how often repeated, cannot change those historical facts,” said Loretta Ross, National Coordinator of SisterSong.

According to their own website, the Freedom for Fetuses group was “taunted” by women saying awful things, like: “civil rights are women’s rights.” How they stayed strong in the face of the terrible suggestion that women are human, only the Lord knows. They had also planned a vigil near MLK’s tomb for some bizarre, sick purpose, but were turned away for unstated reasons.

I have to admit, after visiting the Priests for Life website, I am a little queasy. The disgusting co-option of the Civil Rights Movement, and rights for blacks in general, in service of reducing rights for women, and black women seem specifically targeted here, is beyond the pale.


2 thoughts on “Freedom Rides for Fetuses

  1. This is appalling. No one should appropriate such episodes of history to puff up their own cause. The anti abortion movement, at its fringe, resorts to such tactics as bombing and assassination. They have no right to compare themselves to nonviolent reformers who took the danger on themselves.

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