How black abortion stories are told on screen

The story of abortion that took place on The Chi unfortunately fell into two of the three tropes above. Kiesha (Burgundi Baker) becomes pregnant as a result of rape by her attacker, and after much deliberation and conversation “on both sides”, Keisha decides not to terminate the pregnancy. She feels compelled to become a mother. The Chi’s Showrunner Justin Hillian explained the plot choice to TV Guide: “My decision came out of the theme, which has to do with preserving the Black family.” This quote is bad enough, considering the use of “black family preservation” to describe the continuation of a pregnancy born out of a horrific crime committed by an abuser, but it gets worse. “It’s totally random, but Magic Johnson was the last of 10 siblings, you know, and like, what if they stop at nine? You know, there’s no magic guy, you just think about the, you know, the possibilities for the child, however he came into the world. It could be anything.” Yeah. The idea that every clump of cells is destined for greatness is used a lot in anti-abortion rhetoric, when in reality forced birth doesn’t create more Magic Johnson. It creates more poverty (75% of abortion patients in the United States are poor or low income), more criminalization, more oppression.
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