“WW continue to uphold the patriarchy.”
Activists and journalists sought to shame the 22 Republican senators who voted against including an exception for rape or incest in the legislation, pointing out that they are all white men. However, the racial politics also turned inward and threatened to undermine feminists’ united front on the issue.
Most prominently, Women’s March leader Linda Sarsour pointed to what she said was the complicity of white women in Georgia’s “heartbeat bill,” which Gov. Brian Kemp singed into law last week. Seemingly dismissing most of her allies in opposing the law, Sarsour faulted white women for voting for Kemp in even higher numbers than white men.
“That’s where the work needs to happen. WW continue to uphold the patriarchy,” she declared on Twitter, seemingly continuing her attempt to purge white women from the movement.
While folks are debating tactics to respond to Georgia’s heartbeat bill, let’s remember that 76% of the white Women electorate in GA (more than white men) voted for Brian Kemp over Stacey Abrams. That’s where the work needs to happen. WW continue to uphold the patriarchy. pic.twitter.com/jhu5LXtGaH
— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) May 14, 2019
Sarsour’s fellow feminists echoed her sentiment, with many angrily citing white women’s disproportionate support for President Donald Trump in 2016 and for failed Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Roy Moore in 2017.
Alabama passes the most restrictive abortion band yesterday, governor of Alabama is a 74-year-old white woman. Which further goes to show that white women will choose their whiteness over their womanhood any day
— G Strick (@thesame_oldG) May 15, 2019
Some said that black women would be most affected by the legislation, which bans abortions at every stage of pregnancy and criminalizes the procedure for doctors, who could be charged with felonies and face up to 99 years in prison.
black women living in low-income areas are most likely to be hurt as a result of the abortion laws in Georgia and Alabama…woke twitter seriously thinks white women are the only people with vaginas
— village idiot (@reallyswellgal) May 11, 2019
Others noted that black women are three times as likely as white women to die due to complications related to pregnancy. The Alabama bill includes an exception for cases when the mother’s life is at serious risk, but not for cases of rape or incest.
Because 26% of Alabama's population is black, yet there isn't a single black state senator in Alabama. Meanwhile black women are 3x as likely to die as a result of pregnancy & childbirth than white women.
— Marie Briscombe (@MarieBriscombe) May 15, 2019
The female feminists were not without allies. Some black men agreed that white women are part of the problem.
I think it's time someone states the obvious. There are a great deal of toxic, fucked, dull women just as there are men. 53% of white women voted for Trump and I have women in my mentions championing Alabama's ban on a woman's choice.
— FERRARI SHEPPARD (@stopbeingfamous) May 15, 2019
Transgender woman journalist Katelyn Burns spoke out for transgender men, who she said have less access to abortions than biological women.
Trans men have significantly less access to abortion care than cis women because they are trans.
This is a nuclear take from a cis white women from England who has access to abortion care herself, should she need it. https://t.co/rb7DZ2fNLX
— Katelyn Burns (@transscribe) May 14, 2019
Even white liberal women got on board. Looking forward, one woman indignantly predicted that Alabama’s female governor, Kay Ivey, would sign the bill into law, though she has yet to commit to doing so.
Except the governor who will by signing it will be a woman, not to overlook all of the white women in Alabama who voted this administration in. And please don’t tell me it’s about precious life when they are forcing an 11 year old child to bring her rapists child to term. Ughhh!
— Aileen Kehoe (@Aileoe) May 15, 2019
If Ivey enacts the legislation as expected, the ACLU and others have vowed to challenge it in federal court. Even supporters of the legislation expect that a lower court will block the measure.
Indeed, the conservatives behind the bill have said that their real goal is to test the Supreme Court’s commitment to abortion, with the goal of overturning Roe v. Wade, a landmark 1972 ruling that pro-choice advocates cherish for guaranteeing access to the procedure.
Eric Johnston – the founder and president of the Alabama Pro-Life Coalition, who drafted the legislation – told The New York Times on Tuesday that he does not support the spate of other abortion restrictions passed this year in Georgia and elsewhere. To his thinking, anything less than a full ban is a wasted opportunity.
“Why not go all the way?” he asked.