Pregnancy Centers Reach Out to Black Communities to Reduce Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 21, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pregnancy Centers Reach Out to Black Communities to Reduce Abortions Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 21
, 2007

Washington, DC ( — National pregnancy center groups are continuing to reach out to black communities in an effort to combat the presence of abortion facilities and reduce the alarming rates of abortions on African-American women.

Despite strong Christian upbringings in many black communities across the nation, black women account for 13 percent of the American population but 37 percent of all abortions.

The abortions rate appear to be correlated with the manner in which Planned Parenthood has expanded into black communities over the years by providing low-cost reproductive and other medical services.

Women in minority areas become long-term customers and turn to the abortion business when they find themselves pregnant. That leads to abortions at the Planned Parenthood centers, many of which are done at a low-cost sliding scale payment rate.

Peggy Harshorn, president of Heartbeat International, talked with the Los Angeles Times about the pregnancy networks efforts to expand into urban areas.

"Often, the inner-city, the immigrant and minority populations are invisible when we think of the whole abortion issue," she says. "It’s only recently that we’ve realized we need to be there."

Lillie Epps, director of Care Net’s Urban Initiative, says her group is also working to reach out to minority communities for both new center locations as well as volunteer support. But, she told the Times it’s been difficult to overcome some of the stereotypes that have been built up about the pro-life community.

"When you go to African-American communities … you’ll find they don’t trust pro-life people," Epps explained. "When they hear ‘pro-life,’ the first thing they think is ‘white Republican.’"

Epps said she hopes to open new centers in Detroit, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Orlando, Florida that will serve minority areas.

The moves will likely be welcome, as not all black Americans are happy about having Planned Parenthood abortion businesses.

Last week, reported on an effort by the abortion business to expand into Portland, Oregon’s African-American community. Its leaders want to move its large center to a part of Portland where city officials have been hoping to revitalize a formerly run-down area

But the Oregonian newspaper says that’s not good news to community leaders like Rev. LeRoy Haynes Jr., pastor at the nearby Allen Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.

"If they would bring a clinic that does abortions, that would be a big issue in our community," he told the newspaper. "It is a moral, faith-based issue to me."