Since strides have been made in terms of the federal government and the work to reform certain legislation pertaining to female reproductive health and women’s rights, abortion is legal in 43 U.S. states. However, regardless of what the law says, there are always opposing individuals who, without hesitation, try to impose their opinions on the masses.
Missouri Republican state Rep. Mike Moon is one of those individuals. He reintroduced controversial legislation in January, the “All Lives Matter Act,” which, if pushed through, would further the agenda of abortion opponents. This would occur because the bill would require that “personhood” be defined as beginning at conception. Law enforcement and other licensed entities would be allowed to ensure that “no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.” And a section of Missouri law that calls for personhood laws to be in line with Roe v. Wade would be wiped out. His use of “All Lives Matter” for the bill’s name has garnered a severe side-eye from the Black community, as this legislation attempts to co-opt the name of the Black Lives Matter Movement. The agenda of Mike Moon is offensive to the memories of Blacks who have died at police hands, including Michael Brown, is offensive to those who fight against police brutality, and, of course, further marginalizes Black women practicing their Constitutional rights.
In my opinion, and I’m sure most would agree, “All Lives Matter” is a dismissive means to silence Black activism and our right to stand up against the police brutality and violence that has plagued our communities. When asked his thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement, the representative’s views proved me right. He took the usual color-blind approach and said that he didn’t see Black, White or yellow, but rather, he believes that we are all humans who deserve the same access to the same opportunities. When speaking on police brutality, Rep. Moon would go on to focus on the legislation and say that “abortions are brutality.”
In response, community organizer Christine Assefa of the St. Louis Organization for Black Struggle told Ebony.com, “Rep. Moon is using Black women’s bodies as a site to police the decisions that all women in the state of Missouri are able to make when it comes to their health by re-defining personhood and wiping out abortion access, criminalizing the use of IUDs, in vitro fertilization, and the morning-after pill.”
Assefa believes the agenda is to further marginalize Black women who seek abortions. I agree.
And I can agree with and support the disdain that many have around the appropriation of “Black Lives Matter” for “All Lives Matter.” Not only is it disrespectful, but it’s dangerous. On one hand, Moon is seeking to completely wipe out women’s access to abortion and given the statistics, we know that would greatly affect Black women the most. But not only is he taking away the right to choose, he’s also placing a cap on access to proper birth control methods for women to protect themselves. He is not only trying to create even higher hurdles in Missouri when it comes to women having abortions if they so choose to, but he has also taken an entire movement based on the fight for justice for Black men and women and widdled it down to a woman’s reproductive health issue that singles out Black women.