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Unborn Lives Matter – Until they're born, of course

RTL Unborn Lives Matter Chalk

As I was walking through red square two weeks ago, I came across a chalking that read: “Unborn Lives Matter.” Here are my thoughts:

Tiara Richmond. Tamir Rice. Alphonza Watson. Chay Reed. Chyna Doll Dupree.

If there is one thing that white right-winged individuals love other than being racist, it is co-opting our movements and language - specifically that of the Black Lives Matter movement (or the Movement for Black Lives). It is not only disrespectful, but it is also ignorant and inaccurate to chalk “unborn lives matter,” as it does not even align with the movement’s politics or mission. In fact, the Black Lives Matter movement partners with Trust Black Women who share beliefs on reproductive justice. Their statement affirming their alliance reads, ”we launch this statement of solidarity with Black Lives Matter to affirm that the work that we've been doing for 20 years for Black women's reproductive freedom and justice is connected to the movement for Black lives.” So, there’s that.

Tanisha Anderson. Philando Castile. Yvette Smith. Miriam Carey.

To my knowledge, the event most - tangentially - related to race that Georgetown Right to Life has held was on September 6th, 2016. The event was titled “Civil Rights for the Unborn”, and featured a talk from Alveda King, who RTL made sure to note is the niece of Martin Luther King, Jr. However, let me tell you about Alveda King: she is an anti-LGBTQ extremist. She believes natural disasters are the result of "homosexual marriage" and abortion. With that being said, it is no surprise that Georgetown Right to Life would invite - and tokenize - a homophobic woman to reinforce and spread a platform of hate on campus. Did Georgetown Right to Life think about how the queer students would feel with King’s attendance? The answer to the preceding question is apparent seeing that she was invited. (To be transparent, the answer is no - RTL did not consider the safety of queer students on Georgetown’s campus.)

Miriam Carey. Sherrell Faulkner. Darnisha Harris. Rodney James Hess

Georgetown Right to Life: Who actually has a right to life? Do the trans people who are killed at the hands of police brutality and transphobia have a right to life? Do queer people who are killed and marginalized by violence both enacted and sanctioned by the state? Do I, a queer person of color from a low-income family, have a right to life? If our lives matter, where is your solidarity? You have not released statements on the violence perpetuated against black bodies. You have not held spaces for marginalized and oppressed individuals to cope and be in community when the lives of the most marginalized are in jeopardy.

Malissa Williams. Alesia Thomas. Kenneth Bostick. Shantel Davis

Your mission statement reads: Georgetown Right to Life is a student organization dedicated to protecting human life from conception to natural death. I guess your employment of “natural death” serves as an excuse for your silence on issues regarding police brutality, racism, and other forms of structural violence. Before you co-opt our movements, I invite you, Georgetown Right to Life, to find less problematic ways to act in solidarity with black lives - you can start with learning some of the names in this piece.

Rekia Boyd. Shereese Francis. Aiyana Stanley-Jones. Alberta Spruill.


Derrick Little is a senior in the College. He submitted this post to HFC's blog as a longstanding supporter of H*yas for Choice and reproductive justice efforts on and off campus.

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