- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 21, 2016

One might think an invocation of Martin Luther King Jr. commonplace at an event titled “Abortion in Black Communities,” but not Harvard Law School professor Diane L. Rosenfeld, who is white.

The gender-violence professor mocked Tuesday her debate adversary, pro-life leader Ryan Bomberger, who is black, when he showed video clips of the civil rights leader and cited statistics showing disproportionate rates of abortions in black communities.

Ms. Rosenfeld said the parallel between King, who was a Christian pastor, and the pro-life movement was “really slick” and “really adorable.”

“I also appreciated the picture of you in that first slide,” she said in a mocking tone, according to the New Boston Post. “You were really adorable.”

“She was incredibly dismissive,” Mr. Bomberger, who founded the pro-life Radiance Foundation, told The Washington Times. “It was incredibly interesting that someone speaking for the pro-choice side who knew nothing about abortion in the black community, was somehow speaking at an event where the theme was more black babies are aborted than born alive in New York City. It was strange.”

Despite accusations of ubiquitous racism at Harvard Law School this year — where students are taught that “structural racism” explains every racial disparity — students who attended the event were hostile to the notion that racism could be driving the abortion disparity.

One student interrupted Mr. Bomberger, shouting “This is propaganda!” before storming out of the event.

Nor did the students seem to mind that a white woman was patronizing a black man about civil rights.

But when a white attendee asked a question challenging the pro-choice narrative, they said her question was invalid because of her skin color.

“You are a privileged white woman,” one student said in response.

The professor also jumped in, responding to the question by accusing the woman of being “incredibly demeaning and discrediting to all women.”

“The irony was everywhere,” Mr. Bomberger said. “The irony that somehow a white woman who knew nothing about this issue in the black community was somehow speaking for black women in the room and that when another white woman decides to speak, she was completely disrespected by the students — the race part, the whole ‘You’re privileged.’

“And then you have the professor, in her response, once again very condescendingly, instead of actually responding to the substance — and it was a great question, it was a very moving question — and all she did is she accused her of being incredibly judgmental,” he said.

But the irony did not end there. When Mr. Bomberger, who was conceived by rape, shared his personal story, he said Ms. Rosenfeld continued to harp on the rape scenario to defend abortion rights.

“What happens if one of his victims, after she got raped, got pregnant?” Ms. Rosenfeld said at the event. “First, there’s the lack of choice of who has access to your body — and then what to do about that horrible consequence.”

Although she took the rape hypothetical seriously when advocating abortion rights, Mr. Bomberger said the professor was condescending in response to his emotional appeal for the children conceived by rape.

“It’s interesting, because she’s a professor of gender violence and sexual coercion, and things of that nature, and I was born as a result of rape, and she completely dismissed the story,” he said. “She said it was a cute story. ‘Oh, that’s nice.’ But it’s the story and the excuse that she uses to justify all abortions.”

Ms. Rosenfeld could not be reached for comment.

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