Ohio opinion leaders are sounding off about the appalling fact that our state has the highest black infant mortality rate in the nation — a rate more than twice that for white babies. In Lucas County, African-American babies die at a higher rate than in some third-world countries.
Fundamental to Ohio’s strategies to reduce infant mortality is the recognition that such efforts must begin before babies are born. They must begin in the womb.
Ohio Right to Life’s legislative agenda this year includes defunding Planned Parenthood and redirecting state grants aimed at reducing infant mortality to community institutions that preserve life. Agencies such as the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department can safeguard babies’ lives in a way that an abortion provider never can.
According to Planned Parenthood’s annual report, abortions account for 94 percent of the services it provides to pregnant women. This abortion business claimed 327,653 babies’ lives in 2013. Ohio Right to Life opposes Planned Parenthood because it kills preborn babies. It is an authority on taking lives, rather than saving them.
It is alarming that the State of Ohio is funding Planned Parenthood in the name of fighting Ohio’s black infant mortality crisis. To anyone who knows the history of the organization, this is a grossly offensive revelation. Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger, was a famed eugenicist of the early 20th century. She accepted a dozen invitations to speak to the women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan and similar groups.
Today, black women have 42 percent of abortions, even though they make up just 12 percent of the population. That is, while black infants in Ohio die at twice the rate of white infants, they are aborted at more than three times the rate.
Yet some leaders express moral outrage at the former statistic, and accuse those of us who also criticize the latter of extremism. This outcry reveals the driving force behind abortion advocacy: discrimination — the arbitrary power to decide who lives and who dies.
Such discrimination decries a child’s death in the crib, but calls it a right in the womb. This bias extends beyond race to touch people with disabilities.
Another item on Ohio Right to Life’s agenda is legislation that would prohibit abortions of preborn babies who are diagnosed with Down syndrome. Today, 99 percent of people with Down syndrome report that their lives are happy. This far outweighs the financial cost or utilitarian value that anyone could put on a human life.
Our agenda promotes and embraces diversity, consistently protecting every human life from conception. It extends empathy to the most vulnerable human beings, seeking to prohibit abortions at the point at which babies can feel pain.
Yet even this proposal evokes the ire of abortion advocates. Surely a culture is debased when it has no apprehension about inflicting pain on others. Wouldn’t a humane society agree to err on the side of caution on the question of whether a 5-month preborn baby can feel pain?
Americans are doing just that: According to a Quinnipiac University poll late last year, 60 percent of Americans support such moderate, bipartisan legislation. Opposition to it reveals the true extremism of abortion advocates.
Planned Parenthood and similar advocates dress up the raw nature of abortion in attractive language that speaks of human rights. But violent discrimination against the innocent, before and after birth, is never a human right.
LifeNews Note: Stephanie Ranade Krider is executive director of Ohio Right to Life.