Thank you for covering the efforts of the local radical activist group Pomegranate Radical Health Collective [Chicago Antisocial, March 17]. I thought it was good of you to share your own experiences–the more openness and dialogue, the better. I did find one aspect of the analysis disconcerting. The film made a point that Jane mostly serviced low-income women of color who sought to terminate unwanted pregnancies. Although you didn’t mention this fact, you did make room to portray unflattering images of low-income women twice in your column: one a crotch-grabbing “crack whore” and the second a 22-year-old single mother, “a carny.” This is an illustrative example of popular culture’s demonization of low-income women. While you have the means to fly to Canada or elsewhere if you need an abortion, it is the masses of low-income women who will suffer the most from antichoice legislation. The support of poor women will be crucial in the struggle to protect a woman’s right to choose. We need to show some respect for the most disadvantaged among us and take a close look at our own cultural biases and classism.
Liz Armstrong replies:
I forgot to mention that despite the hardships that went along with my abortions, I’m awfully glad I was able to have them. And as for the way I talked about low-income women, um, she was a crack whore. And Norma McCorvey did work in a carnival. And I was a scummy dishwasher who couldn’t afford anesthetic, let alone a ticket to Canada.