White Fetal Privilege

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“White Fetal Privilege” refers to systemic, racist advantages, both explicit and implicit,  that white fetuses have over nonwhite minority fetuses. White fetal privilege results in overt and covert discrimination against nonwhite fetuses, suspicion of them, and other negative reactions to them. One profound effect of white fetal privilege is the many hidden benefits white fetuses enjoy, often including live birth and survival thereafter, in a society where being white is the only “normal.”

White Fetus – Invisible Advantage

White fetuses carry an ‘invisible briefcase’ of privilege, beginning shortly after conception, long before they see the light of day. Nonwhite fetuses, on the contrary, carry an unseen ball-and-chain of prejudice, both when they are  still within their owners and then later if they are born alive and survive.

White fetal privilege alone accounts for the inevitable negative outcomes for minority fetuses, if and when they separate from their owner successfully. Other factors may play some minor role, but white fetal privilege is often the sole or the predominant factor that explains the fate of nonwhite fetuses.

Studying whiteness critically and accepting that fetuses, white or nonwhite, are property of the owner, it becomes clear that fetal whiteness is of great value in our society, a property asset. It is recognized by accepted Supreme Court jurisprudence (which itself is a product of white fetal privilege), and protected by social and legal institutions, all with an implicit foundation of white fetal privilege.  This privilege facilitates the existence, maintenance, and increase, from conception onward, of many advantages and benefits for white fetuses, the primary one of which is a privileged status for exiting from an owner alive.

The Facts

Facts, data, and statistics irrefutability prove the existence of white fetal privilege.  Because there are no mandatory and uniform reporting regulations, what follows are plus-or-minus estimates based on various published sources. What is known to be true is that about half – approximately 50% – of fetus terminations in America are done for minority owners and these owners make up less than 20% of the population.

By some estimates there have been over 62,000,000 terminations since 1973. About 19,000,000 of those have been Black-American fetuses and about 13,000,000 have been Hispanic-American fetuses. One termination business has about 70% of its business locations in or near minority neighborhoods, ghettos, or barrios. In some cities in New York the majority of white fetuses make it to birth and survive; but nonwhite fetuses do not have an even chance  – i.e. less than 50-50 – at viable owner separation and ensuing survival. All of these negative results can be traced to one primary cause – white fetal privilege.

White Fetal Privilege – Unspoken Basis of Culture

Actually being born turns out to be a tremendous advantage for white fetuses, and is the major factor in their metamorphosis from mere property to human person. Being born is almost always important for later achievement. The effects of this privilege on nonwhite fetuses result in many of them being terminated – which is a serious disadvantage for success later in life.

Pre-separation, white fetal privilege is like a cultural imprimatur imprinted on each white fetus while still within the owner. The plethora of conditions in which prejudicial inequalities favor white fetuses forms a pattern running through the fabric of society, a matrix of beneficial assumptions which are passed on to each white fetus, beginning early when the fetus is in the owner and then after separation.

When minority fetuses are denied viable separation with survival from an owner, this is not just an injustice to minority fetuses. Such terminations of nonwhite fetuses are a positive benefit for all surviving white fetuses, and then for the white human beings they become in that moment when they are transformed from fetus to citizen. Millions of minority nonwhite fetuses, victims of white fetal privilege, never get to enjoy that transformation or to exhilarate for even one second as a human person.

White Fetus Innocent; Nonwhite Fetus Guilty

All white fetuses are unjustly enriched, no matter what the circumstances of their owners, because white fetuses cannot avoid enjoying the benefits of the nation’s legacy of discrimination and racial oppression of minority fetuses.

White fetuses often enjoy “spared injustice” when they are allowed to live to term, while nonminority fetuses are terminated. Thus these white fetuses are unjustly enriched.

This unjust enrichment often occurs  when white fetuses and their owners are unconsciously ignored by termination businesses. These businesses simply ignore the commercial value and revenue potential from white fetus owners when they focus on minority customers, directly via teenage health education programs and ad campaigns, and indirectly via business location determinations. The fact that they do this without thinking illustrates the depth and scope of the subtle and sinister effects of white fetal privilege.


Rarely have white people heard about white fetal privilege. Theologians, philosophers, and professors have shouted to the heavens that there has been scholarly “theological silence” regarding racism.  Their silence regarding white fetal privilege, however, is even more deafening.

All of the scholars who see themselves as champions of equality and soldiers in the social justice war must address not only the existence of white fetal privilege, but also its devastating life-changing, and often life-ending, effects on so many nonwhite fetuses.

White people must become a voice for the voiceless minority fetuses. Merely acknowledging now that white fetal privilege exists is not enough. Whites must ally with nonwhites to fight against white fetal privilege and not simply continue as silent bystanders — or worse, continue by their silence to facilitate and enable the minority fetus terminators.

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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