**Update 2013: This post is from February 2012 but in light of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday, President Obama’s Inauguration and the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade I felt compelled to re-post this one so we can look at the reality of racial slavery in the United States. I would love to hear what you think in the comments below.**
Unlike last year I have chosen to largely avoid the subject of Black History month (for many reasons), but if you would like to read those post please click here. I did want to talk a subject that I did not have the opportunity to address last year and I feel is truly important to the Black community at-large. The subject is abortion. So let me put all of my cards on the table. I am pro-life, anti-abortion, anti-choice or however you would like to frame it. My view on this subject is shaped mainly by the Bible but also by my experience with family, friends, pastors, and professors that have had or have been the target of an abortion. I am not sure that I can change your mind, or if that is even my purpose but my intent is to inform people of the realities of this issue.
Last February (Black History Month) this billboard was erected in the SoHo district of New York near one of Planned Parenthoods (PP) 3 located in the city. Immediately there was a great outcry not only from PP but also the Black community. To be completely honest I was taken back by the back lash. So here is some history.
We do not want the word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious [church] members.
This quote is from Margaret Sanger who was a “reproductive rights advocate” and eventual founder of PP and was aware of concerns that birth control would pose a threat to the Black community. Consequently, she was determined to alleviate these concerns by involving the African American community (specifically civic leaders, pastors) in the formation of birth control clinics in the South. The quote above comes from a letter that Sanger wrote to Dr. Clarence J. Gamble, one of the financial backers of the birth control movement. In the letter, Sanger argued that African American doctors needed to be employed at birth control clinics. She felt that it was important to employ black doctors and social workers in order for patients to feel that the clinics represented their community. When the Birth Control Federation of America became Planned Parenthood Federation of America in 1942, Sanger established the Division of Negro Service [context] to oversee outreach to the African American community nationally. These seem nominal until you find that Sanger aligned herself with the eugenicists whose ideology prevailed in the early 20th century. Eugenicists strongly espoused racial supremacy and “purity,” particularly of the “Aryan” race. Eugenicists hoped to purify the bloodlines and improve the race by encouraging the “fit” to reproduce and the “unfit” to restrict their reproduction. They sought to contain the “inferior” races through segregation, sterilization, birth control and abortion. Sanger embraced a certain type of eugenics called Malthusian eugenics. Thomas Robert Malthus, a 19th-century cleric and professor of political economy, believed a population time bomb threatened the existence of the human race. He viewed social problems such as poverty, deprivation and hunger as evidence of this “population crisis.” Malthus’ disciples believed if Western civilization were to survive, the physically unfit, the materially poor, the spiritually diseased, the racially inferior, and the mentally incompetent had to be suppressed and isolated—or even, perhaps, eliminated. His disciples felt the subtler and more “scientific” approaches of education,contraception, sterilization and abortion were more “practical and acceptable ways” to ease the pressures of the alleged overpopulation.
Why do I bring all of this old stuff up you may ask? What does this have to do with PP today?
History can give us a great view of the trajectory of any person or organization. Can a person or organization change? Yes, I have, by God’s grace repented (implying a 180 degree change) and I am being remade through the grace of God. Though PP has tried to distance themselves from Sanger the truth is that her mission seems to be alive ad well. Whether on purpose or not I do not claim to know.
The Supreme Court in the Dred Scott case of 1857 held that Black slaves were property without rights as free persons, yet today we view that as unthinkable; so also even though the Supreme Court in the Roe v. Wade case of 1973 did not give the unborn the rights of free persons, nevertheless the day may come when that too is viewed as unthinkable. Racism might—and often did—result in the killing of innocent humans; in our history, it often did. But abortion always results in the killing of innocent humans. Between 1882 and 1968, 3,446 [known] Black people were lynched in America. Today more Black babies are killed by abortionists every three days than all who were lynched in those years (Life Education and Resource Network).
Today 78% of Planned Parenthood clinics are in minority communities. John Ensor takes this as the crucial challenge of the pro-life, crisis pregnancy center movement: Go to the urban centers. Here is what he says:
To date, the pregnancy center movement has grown mostly in rural and suburban areas. The great challenge now facing us is to respond to the abortion industry’s dominant business strategy of abandoning rural and suburban abortion facilities and targeting urban neighborhoods. For example, Planned Parenthood closed 17 abortion facilities in 2004. But they sold 20% more abortions. How did they do this? By targeting minority neighborhoods in major cites. Currently, 94% of America’s abortion facilities are in cities. And African-American women, who make up 13% of the female population account for 36% of all abortions. Latino-American women makeup another 13% of the female population, but account for another 20% of all abortions. (See Susan Enouen, “Planned Parenthood Abortion Facilities Target African American Communities.”)
In other words, the de facto effect (I won’t call it the main cause, but net effect) of putting abortion clinics in the urban centers is that the abortion of Hispanic and Black babies is more than double their percentage of the population. Every day 1,300 black babies are killed in America. Seven hundred Hispanic babies die every day from abortion. Call this what you will—when the slaughter has an ethnic face and the percentages are double that of the white community, something is going on here that ought to make the lovers of racial equality and racial harmony wake up.
I simply want you to know where I am going, so that no one will say I made this association between abortion and racism in a sly or subtle way. It is not subtle. It is open and intentional and, I hope to show, justified. May God make the support of abortion in America and around the world as unthinkable as support for racism.
I don’t expect to escape misunderstanding or criticism for this message. But few attacks might be avoided by quoting Randy Alcorn whose view I share:
I do not believe that most people who support abortion rights are racists, any more than I believe there are no racists among pro-lifers. I am simply suggesting that regardless of motives, a closer look at both the history and present strategies of the pro-choice movement suggests that “abortion for the minorities” may not serve the cause of equality as much as the cause of supremacy for the healthy, wealthy and white. (Eternal Perspectives, Sept.-Oct. 1993, p. 9)
Again my aim is to associate abortion and racism, not to equate them. Whether the association is justified, you will decide. It’s not a biblical declaration; it’s a cultural observation.
Listen, I know that abortion is a very touchy subject, and talking about it can result in anger and accusations. Therefore, I pray that in this article I did not offend anyone needlessly or carelessly. As a Christian, I believe abortion is wrong, but I will not point an angry condemning finger at anyone who has had an abortion. The choice to have an abortion is not an easy or flippant decision. It also is a decision that has been made by many of my friends and family, and had in no way diminish my love for any of them.
Others, I suspect, may be tempted to dismiss my comments because I am a Christian as well as a man. I can only hope that if this is you that you will not do that and listen to the facts presented here. Others may assume that I will try to condemn them and then use the Bible to bash and ridicule. This was not my intent in any way, shape or form. I reference the Bible, not as a club, but as a source of forgiveness and encouragement. No one is cut off from Christ because of past sin – any past sin. What cuts a person off from Christ and the fellowship of his people is the endorsement of past sin. For the repentant there is forgiveness and cleansing and hope.” 2 Corinthians 7:9,10 says:
I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, in order that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death.
Reconciliation to God, through the blood of Jesus Christ, is the only way to overcome the tragedy of abortion, and though the sorrow of past sins can linger, the penalty will be forever lifted. If you have received this forgiveness, let the world know, and be a voice of warning to those thinking of talking the same path as you.