A Democratic congressman shouted down a black woman Wednesday after she told a congressional subcommittee that abortion is the “leading cause of death in the black community today.”
Star Parker, founder of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education and a community activist, was asked to testify before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice.
Hold up, I think I made a mistake in that previous paragraph. What I meant to type was: Star Parker was asked to testify before the House subcommittee because she is one of the rare black female Republican anti-abortion-rights activists. (No, I will not use the GOP marketing phrase “pro-life.” Who’s not for people living?)
The hearing was about the Heartbeat Protection Act—the newest Republican effort to outlaw abortion. The bill would strip women of their right to choose to terminate a pregnancy if a doctor detected a heartbeat. The bill is being considered by a diverse subcommittee of seven white men and a white woman (pdf).
Anyway, Parker went into a speech (pdf) that was half Hotep, half Alex Jones. Here is the good part:
In fact, when you put the Dred Scott decision next to the Roe v. Wade decision, they read almost verbatim. I’d like to also address something that was brought up earlier ... when it comes to mixing the abortion issue with the challenges that we face in many of our hard-hit communities. I feel it disingenuous that the issues of Medicaid would come up, and other opportunities for us to readdress what has happened in ... our most distressed zip codes. The way that Planned Parenthood targets these particular zip codes with abortion.
Abortion is the leading cause of death in the black community today. Since Roe v. Wade was legalized, 20 million humans have been killed inside of the womb of black women. And then on Halloween, Planned Parenthood tweets out that the black women are safest if they abort their child rather than bring it to term. To the gentleman from Texas who brought up Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, I think that is important that we put in record that the needs of those that are most vulnerable in society cannot be addressed with abortion.
Abortion feeds a narrative that women are victims, that they have no control over their sexual impulses. And the result of this narrative being forced down into our hardest-hit communities—we are seeing now recklessness in sexual activity and marriage has collapsed. In the ’50s, 70 percent of black adults were married. Today that number is 30 percent. This is causing a lot more social pathologies that have to be addressed in different types of legislation, not the “heartbeat bill.” The heartbeat bill is to protect the innocent.
After hearing this, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) got upset and told Parker: “I am not disingenuous about anything I say about Medicaid or Medicare ... or SNAP [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program] programs.” Cohen went on to say: “And to suggest I’m disingenuous shows your ignorance or your absolute inability to deal with congresspeople the way they should. I believe in those issues and I think they’re proper, and to say I’m disingenuous is just wrong and I expect an apology.”
People were shocked to hear him go after a black woman publicly like this, but here is the thing:
She is kinda ignorant, though.
First of all, the Dred Scott decision is nothing like Roe v. Wade. I feel as if most of her talking points came off Infowars or from a bad spoken-word poem about Willie Lynch. Second, that “leading cause of death” statistic is an old myth that people use at their leisure.
The “alt-right” says the leading cause of death in black communities is black people. Republicans say it’s abortions. If you ask Tyrese Gibson, he would get teary-eyed and say the leading cause of death in his community is the Rock breaking up the Fast and Furious franchise, leaving Tyrese penniless. Then he would break down and start bawling about losing his baby. What I’m trying to say is: Everyone has an agenda.
After things got heated, the white supremacist anal wart Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) ended the hearing, citing the “lack of civility before this committee.”
Update: 5/5/20, 2:15 p.m. ET: This story has been updated to remove a broken video link.