BLACKHERBALS.COM

Abortion and Race

For decades, abortion has disproportionately targeted minority babies.

January 29, 2011

 

Whatever the intent of the abortion industry may be, by functional standards, abortion is a racist institution. In the United States, black children are aborted at 5 times the rate as white children and Hispanic children don't fare much better.

Abortion, by the numbers, is a racist institution. That's not to say that all or even most of those who support abortion are racists. Nor does it imply that there are no racists among those who oppose abortion. This statement has nothing to do with agendas or intent. It has everything to do with the simple, undeniable reality that in the United States, abortion kills minority children at more than 3 times the rate of non-Hispanic, white children. The rate is even worse for black children. The Reverend Clenard H. Childress calls this phenomenon "black genocide", and has built a national ministry around the exposure of what he calls "the greatest deception [to] plague the black church since Lucifer himself". Alveda C. King, daughter of slain civil-rights leader A.D. King and niece of Martin Luther King, Jr., quotes her uncle often when outlining her opposition of abortion. She writes

[Martin Luther King, Jr.] once said, “The Negro cannot win as long as he is willing to sacrifice the lives of his children for comfort and safety.” How can the “Dream” survive if we murder the children? Every aborted baby is like a slave in the womb of his or her mother. The mother decides his or her fate.1

Lest you feel these claims are an exaggeration, consider the numbers. According to the most recent census data available for race (2000), black women make up 12.3% of the female population in America2, but accounted for36.4% of all U.S. abortions in 20063 – that according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The Guttmacher Institute (AGI) puts the percentage of black abortions at 30% of the U.S. total4. Their most recent numbers are from 2008. Similarly, AGI tells us that Hispanic women5 accounted for 25% of all U.S. abortions in 20086, though they made up just 12.5% of the female population in 20007. The CDC lists the percentage of Hispanic abortions in 2006 at 20.1%8. Compare those numbers to non-Hispanic, white women, who make up 69% of America's female population9, but account for only 36% of all U.S. abortions10 (36.1% according to the CDC11).

 

Abortion is eliminating minority children in the United States at a staggering rate.

Every day in America, an average of 3,315 human beings lose their lives to abortion12. Based on the percentages above, between 666-829 of those babies are Hispanic, between 1,193-1,197 are white, and between 995-1,207 are black. Not only are black children being killed at a far greater percentage than white children, it's possible they're being killed in greater numbers, period. Is that not shocking?! Though the white population in the U.S. outnumbers the black population five to one, abortion may well be killing more black children each day than white children. John Piper, a white pastor with a heart for racial justice, remarks on the disparity of abortion this way:

The de facto effect (I don’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 and the killers are almost all white, something is going on here that ought to make the lovers of racial equality and racial harmony wake up.13

Each year, almost a half a million black babies are lost to abortion. The Life Education and Resource Network (LEARN), the largest African-American pro-life group in the country has produced a chart which shows that from 1973-2001, abortion has claimed more than two and a half times as many African-American lives as the next five leading causes combined. In 2005, a total of 292,808 blacks died in the U.S. That same year, almost twice as many blacks (roughly 447,700) were killed by abortion. In 2004, the black population in the U.S. stood at 36 million. Between 1973 and 2004, roughly 15 million blacks were aborted, which means that, as of 2004, nearly 30% of the black population has been lost to abortion! And that doesn't even factor in all the children that would have been born to those aborted a generation ago. Population estimates show that blacks will soon lose their status as the nation's largest minority group. To put it bluntly, abortion has thinned the black community in ways the Ku Klux Klan could have only dreamed of.

The fact that black leaders, like President Obama, support abortion rights does not change the reality of what is happening. How many candidates for public office have abandoned a prior conviction so as to be consistent with a party platform? This is perhaps nowhere more evident than in Reverend Jesse Jackson's flip-flop on abortion. Prior to having ambitions as a Presidential candidate for the Democratic Party, he was an incredibly eloquent and outspoken opponent of abortion. Though his public stance on abortion has reversed, his earlier remarks remain as applicable as ever, and show that there is more than mere numbers at stake. Abortion attacks the "moral fabric" of an entire people. The following remarks come from his 1977 article for the National Right to Life News:

The question of "life" is The Question of the 20th century. Race and poverty are dimensions of the life question, but discussions about abortion have brought the issue into focus in a much sharper way.

How we will respect and understand the nature of life itself is the over-riding moral issue, not of the Black race, but of the human race.

The question of abortion confronts me in several different ways. First, although I do not profess to be a biologist, I have studied biology and know something about life from the point of view of the natural sciences. Second, I am a minister of the Gospel and, therefore, feel that abortion has a religious and moral dimension that I must consider.

Third, I was born out of wedlock (and against the advice that my mother received from her doctor) and therefore abortion is a personal issue for me.

From my perspective, human life is the highest good, the summum bonum. Human life itself is the highest human good and God is the supreme good because He is the giver of life...

There are those who argue that the right to privacy is of higher order than the right to life. I do not share that view. I believe that life is not private, but rather it is public and universal.

If one accepts the position that life is private, and therefore you have the right to do with it as you please, one must also accept the conclusion of that logic. That was the premise of slavery. You could not protest the existence or treatment of slaves on the plantation because that was private and therefore outside of your right to concerned.

Another area that concerns me greatly, namely because I know how it has been used with regard to race, is the psycholinguistics involved in this whole issue of abortion. If something can be dehumanized through the rhetoric used to describe it, then the major battle has been won. Those advocates of taking life prior to birth do not call it killing or murder, they call it abortion. They further never talk about aborting a baby because that would imply something human. Rather they talk about aborting the fetus. Fetus sounds less than human and therefore can be justified.

… What happens to the mind of a person, and the moral fabric of a nation, that accepts the aborting of the life of a baby without a pang of conscience? What kind of a person, and what kind of a society will we have 20 years hence if life can be taken so casually?

It is that question, the question of our attitude, our value system, and our mind-set with regard to the nature and worth of life itself that is the central question confronting mankind. Failure to answer that question affirmatively may leave us with a hell right here on earth.

The majority of Planned Parenthood's abortion clinics are located in communities with minority populations

that exceed the city or state averages. Is this a bizarre coincidence, or is it merely an extension of the eugenic principles that seem to have driven Planned Parenthood's founder, Margaret Sanger, a founder who is documented as saying, "We do not want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population."15 This statement, written in a 1939 letter to a colleague, can be taken in one of two ways. Either she didn't want the black community to wrongly assume that her efforts promoting birth control were an attempt to eliminate them, or she didn't want the black community to find out that this is exactly what she had in mind. Planned Parenthood assumes the first, her opponents assume the latter. Based on the greater context of her writings, the truth likely lies in between. She probably didn't have in mind the elimination of all blacks, but it is quite reasonable to infer that she did want to keep them in submission and in line.

Whatever the case may be, the bottom line is this. Margaret Sanger's vision of social purification was rooted in birth control and sterilization. Compared with abortion, these were minor threats to minority communities.

Planned Parenthood's contemporary vision of social purification is much more menacing. No longer is the organization driven by pregnancy prevention, it is now driven by pregnancy elimination. We can debate the racial intent of Planned Parenthood past and present, but we cannot debate the results. Abortion is by no means an equal opportunity killer.                   

Footnotes

1.       Alveda King, “How Can the Dream Survive if We Murder Our Children?” http://www.silentnomoreawareness.org/testimonies/alveda-king.html, accessed on January 12, 2011.

2.       Census 2000 Brief, “The Black Population: 2000,” http://www.census.gov/prod/2001pubs/c2kbr01-5.pdf, August 2001.

3.       The Centers for Disease Control, “Abortion Surveillance—- United States, 2006,” http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5808a1.htm?s_cid=ss5808a1_e#tab10, November 26, 2009.

4.       The AGI number does not include blacks of hispanic descent: Guttmacher Institute, “Characteristics of U.S. Abortion Patients, 2008,” http://www.alanguttmacher.org/pubs/US-Abortion-Patients.pdf, May, 2010. 

5.       “Hispanic” is classified as an ethnicity, not as a race.

6.       Guttmacher Institute, “Facts on Induced Abortion in the United States,”

 

http://www.alanguttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html, January 2011.

7.       Census 2000 Brief, “The Hispanic Population,” http://www.census.gov/prod/2001pubs/c2kbr01-3.pdf, May 2001.

8.       The Centers for Disease Control, “Abortion Surveillance—- United States, 2006,” http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5808a1.htm?s_cid=ss5808a1_e#tab10, November 26, 2009.

9.       Census 2000 Brief, “Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin,” http://www.census.gov/prod/2001pubs/cenbr01-1.pdf, March 2001.

10.    Guttmacher Institute, “Facts on Induced Abortion in the United States,” http://www.alanguttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html, January 2011.

11.    The CDC does not provide this number directly. It tells us that 55.8% of all abortions in the U.S. are performed on white women of Hispanic or non-Hispanic descent. It also tells us that 20.1% of all abortions are performed on Hispanic women. The 2000 census data tells us that 2% of all Hispanics in the U.S. are black. Therefore, we can conclude that roughly 19.7% of all abortions in the U.S. are performed on white, Hispanic women. Subtracting that number from 55.8%, we arrive at 36.1%.

12.    Guttmacher Institute, “Facts on Induced Abortion in the United States,” http://www.alanguttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html, January 2011.

13.    John Piper, “When is Abortion Racism?” http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/when-is-abortion-racism,  January 21, 2007

14.    #

15.    Donovan, Charles and Marshall, Robert, Blessed Are The Barren: The Social Policy of Planned Parenthood, (Ignatius Press, 1991), pages 17-18. January 12, 2011

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