The June 24, 2022, Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v Wade (1973), is intimately tied to the fears and needs of white supremacy ideology. White supremacy ideology is undergirded by the mythology that the white “race” is innately superior and as such should dominate non-whites. Those designated as whites should infinitely be the benefactors of unequal and unearned social, political, and economic power.

Two overwhelming and increasingly terrifying fears now inhabit the minds of those embracing white supremacy ideology. First is the fear of white extinction –threats to the Anglo-Saxon race. Most recently, this is expressed as fear of “replacement,” is the crux of the anti-abortion movement. The loss of demographic ground to browns and blacks appears to be a real threat as research (Pew Research Center, 2008) suggests that non-Hispanic whites who made up 67% of the population in 2005, will be 47% in 2050. In addition, Hispanics will rise from 14% of the population in 2005 to 29% in 2050, Asians will be 9%, foreign-born will increase by 19%, and interestingly the black population will be roughly the same 13% in 2050. These demographics incite the fear that America will no longer be a white country and that white culture and civilization will be supplanted.

The second great fear is a white population numbers lessen, whites will lose the privilege or advantage of access to a disproportionate and unequal share of social, political, and economic power. White racial anxieties about the loss of superiority, domination, and power accelerate with increasing numbers of Asians and Hispanics coming to America. The fear of loss of domination is perceived as a devasting loss.

How does the anti-abortion movement fit into the white supremacy ideology? The future of the white race in America depends upon white women having white babies. Stopping the abortion of white babies, in particular, is meant to ensure white hegemony in the coming years. White women have a patriotic duty to America and to the white race to produce more white babies. In the past fifty years, white women have forgotten their place – “barefoot and pregnant” – rather than as CEOs of major corporations. The abortion of white babies is considered by some to be “racial suicide.”

So why no concern about preventing the abortion of black babies? This presents an interesting paradox. While some even among blacks promote the idea that the abortion of black babies is black genocide, there may be a more devious white supremacy plan in place. First of all, it has previously been reported that black women face significant health risks, even death, due to pregnancy-related ailments. So, forcing black women to carry and bear children despite the health risks might mean that more black women will die as a result, as they did from illegal abortions prior to Roe. Before Roe, the death rate from illegal abortions for black women was 12 times higher than for white women.

Secondly, poor black women live in Southern states with more rigid abortion laws. These women who seek abortions, usually for financial reasons, will more likely be forced to continue a life of poverty and to bring children into this life. In terms of economic exploitation, poor black women without an opportunity to free themselves from poverty will be forced again into a “slave-like “labor force, with no other options. In addition, their poor children will very likely be thrust into the criminal justice system which will deny them the right to vote and other rights of American citizens.

For those who consider the abortion of black babies to be race suicide for black people, it is important to understand fully the magnitude of genocide. Genocide is the deliberate killing of a large group of people from a particular race or ethnic group with the aim of destroying the group. Genocide can be practiced overtly as the direct killing of members of the group, i.e., the wiping out of Native American populations, the lynching of black men, the burning and killing of entire black communities; or covertly, as imposing living conditions intended to destroy the group. Genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a group, but a coordinated plan of different acts aiming at the destruction of the foundation of the group.

Once abortion is unlawful in most states where poor black women reside, they will be forced to endure unplanned, unwanted pregnancies and will remain locked in systematic poverty. In line with white supremacy ideology, these unwed black mothers will face more criticism; will feed the stereotype of the “Jezebel, the overly-sexed black women, who keep having children for which white taxpayers must provide. The next step in this process may be to further restrict social welfare programs, leaving generations of poor black children in poverty, facing homelessness, hunger, and criminalization. Black maternal deaths and the forces of extreme poverty will decrease the black population. The effects of this form of genocide will be blamed upon the victim herself, the poor black woman who has been denied to right to control her reproduction.

The Roe v Wade decision is hypocritical at best. Affluent white women will continue to have abortions just as they did when abortions were illegal. This ruling will not end abortion but will eliminate safe access to a vital medical procedure. The decision will reinforce social, political, and especially economic inequalities faced by black and brown women. It will lead to higher rates of maternal mortality for these women. Ultimately, this ruling has consequences, especially for black and brown people that are not clearly recognized at this juncture.