Nixon Supported Abortions to Prevent Racial Mixing

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Whoa.  The New York Times reports here on the contents of the Nixon-Whitehouse tapes released yesterday by the National Archives.  One recording (audio file here) captured Nixon’s reflections on  Roe v. Wade on January 22, 1973, the day the Supreme Court decided the case.  The NYT article calls Nixon’s reaction ambivalent:  

Nixon worried that greater access to abortions would foster”permissiveness,”and said that”it breaks the family.”But he also saw a need for abortion in some cases, such as interracial pregnancies.

“There are times when an abortion is necessary. I know that. When you have a black and a white,”he  told an aide, before adding:”Or a rape.”  

Interracial intercourse equated to rape?  Nixon’s deployment of this historic canard is yet another blot on his presidency.

Audio files with all of the White House tapes from January, 1973 are available online here, courtesy of the National Archives.  The site includes a good historical timeline, too.

-Bridget Crawford

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This entry was posted in Feminist Legal History, Race and Racism, Reproductive Rights. Bookmark the permalink.

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