Tony Wafford (Courtesy photo)

I was sitting around a couple of weeks ago reading the paper, and for the first time I said, “Let me read about this issue of abortion.”   

Now I don’t know about you, but most of the time whenever I see people raising hell around the issue of abortion, for the most part, all I see is White women and old White men — so I just chock it up to White-on-White crime.   

You know the funny thing to me is when I played back the tape in my head, having seen those White men arguing so passionately against abortion, most of them were either too old to have kids or they were guys most women wouldn’t want to have sex with in the first place, (can you say Lindsey Graham,) but you know me — I digress. 

As I read, I began to ask myself a question, “How can I, as a father of three beautiful young, Black women, allow White women, White men, and so-called Christians (I’ll get to them in a minute) make decisions about my daughter’s reproductive health?”   

Many of you that know me knows that I first got involved in HIV/AIDS awareness, education, treatment, and prevention because I didn’t know of anyone speaking on behalf of my girls, so I said I would speak on behalf of my girls!  

As I read, it seemed that a number of states that were so perfervid about the issue of abortion had so much in common.  Do you know what Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, and West Virginia have in common, besides being anti-abortion states?  All of these states are Republican states, and they are among the poorest in the union, with the highest child poverty rates, highest incarceration rates (per capita), and dig this… they ALL market themselves as being hard on crime and celebrate having the death penalty.   

Oh, did I mention that many of them are part of the Bible Belt?  These so-called “good Christians” are so concerned about the unborn, but they don’t give a damn about the living!  Former Vice President Michael Richard Pence, who takes every opportunity he can to peddle his love for Christ, said during the Republican debate, to the NRA, and I would bet in church as well, and I quote, “For individuals convicted in mass shootings to face the death penalty through an expedited process.”   

Will somebody please take Mike’s WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) bracelet back!  I really don’t think that Jesus would, as Mike said, kill in an expedited process or maybe the God he serves would?    

This is a call to Black men, brothers, let’s have this conversation about Black women’s rights and their ability to address their reproductive justice in their own way.  Let’s see what our women have to say, and let’s support them!  I don’t know about you, but the days of people outside of my culture freely telling the women in my life when, how, and what she can, and cannot do with her own body is over for me.  

If you don’t know what you can do, I would encourage you to contact Black Women for Wellness and my dear friend, Sister Jan Robinson Flint.  Join their Sisters in Control Reproductive Justice (SCRJ) program which supports policy, utilizes programs, works with advisory councils, commissions and boards to secure reproductive justice for women and girls.  


I have three daughters, and none of them are named Sally Hemings.