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Anti-Choice "Freedom Rides" Seek to Curtail Freedom

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Written by Pamela Merritt for RHRealityCheck.org - News, commentary and community for reproductive health and justice.

When I read that Dr. Alveda King is planning a revival of the famed 1960’s civil rights Freedom Rides to protest abortion in general and abortion within black communities in particular, I was quite frankly disturbed.  The Freedom Rides are every American’s legacy and serve to remind us all of the fact that rights without access and freedom from violence are rights in name only.  Dr. Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and an activist opposed to abortion rights, is deeply involved in the campaign to frame abortion as a tool of genocide against black people.  RH Reality Check has done extensive coverage of the abortion as genocide conspiracy theory and I have followed news of billboards that claim that black children are an endangered “species” and the attempt to pass legislation in Georgia to “protect” women of color from abortion as racial discrimination.  Those who oppose abortion rights using the black genocide conspiracy theory isn’t new and it is a disturbing tactic on it’s own, but this latest move to co-opt Civil Rights history is a new low.

My father was 22 years old in 1961 when the Freedom Rides began. Although he lived in Pennsylvania at the time, he was deeply concerned about the racial oppression in the South. Read more