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Alabama’s Abortion Ban Hits Black Population Differently

Michael Harriot May 23, 2019. 7 comments

Days after eight white women and 43 white men yelled “Roll Tide!” before voting to pass the nation’s harshest abortion ban, companies are already changing plans on expanding into Alabama, decisions which will surely hit black communities the hardest. But as long as there’s football, everything will be OK.

After a Tuesday city council meeting, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin revealed that the draconian law has forced one tech company to rescind its decision to move to Birmingham, the Associated Press reports. Another company is reportedly reconsidering its relocation options because of the law that would sentence doctors who performed abortions up to 99 years in prison, even in the case of rape or incest.

“They want to make sure that the quality of life for their employees is taken care of and not compromised,” explained Woodfin. “We need to realize when we make certain decisions, it has an adverse, negative ripple effect on our ability to recruit jobs.”

Officials inside the Woodfin administration would not disclose the names of the companies who did an about-face when they heard about Alabama’s white Jesus-based legislation, citing non-disclosure agreements when asked by The Root.

Many of those desperately needed jobs in the tech sector would have likely gone to black candidates considering the fact that Birmingham’s 72 percent African American population makes it the third blackest city in America and Alabama is the sixth-blackest state in the U.S. But apparently Republicans don’t care if women can actually feed those babies.

Alabama is also the sixth-poorest state and the state ranks 45th in opportunity, 46th in health care and 50th in infant mortality. The infant mortality rate for black women in Alabama is almost twice the rate of white women. With the threat of life in prison, fewer doctors and women’s health care practitioners will move into the state, making it more difficult for black women and poor women to get prenatal care. But as long as Alabama’s legislators can force victims of rape and incest to relinquish the autonomy of their bodies, the lawmakers will assert they are doing the Lord’s will.

“I hope [Republican legislators] are as aggressive in fighting infant mortality as they are with a woman’s right to choose,” said Woodfin.

But it’s not just the disappearing tech jobs and lack of health care that hurt Alabama’s black population. The increased tax revenue from businesses would have bolstered Birmingham’s failing schools and the country’s 50th-ranked school system, which is pretty good considering the fact that most Alabamians think there are 52 states.

Los Angeles County also banned employees from traveling to Alabama for one year, according to KNBC. All but one of Alabama’s top tourist destinations in 2018 were in majority-black cities. The only one that wasn’t?

Bryant-Denny Stadium, home of the Alabama Crimson Tide football team.

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