by Steven Ertelt
June 8, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The nation’s largest organization representing black Americans is cutting staff and closing down some of its regional locations in the face of declining donations. The moves come on the heels of a flip-flop on abortion and some black leaders saying abortion is distracting from civil rights issues.
The NAACP took an official position in favor of abortion in early 2004, a stance it quietly rescinded months later after significant backlash.
A poll conducted by Black Enterprise Magazine found that 60% of African Americans disapproved of the decision.
Then, last year, the Revs. Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Joseph Lowery kicked off a three day event in Dallas and said abortion has been used too much to block discussion of issues like voting rights and affirmative action.
Now, the NAACP is cutting its staff of 119 down to 70 and with close some of the offices around the nation that it operates.
"We are right-sizing our organization to meet present circumstances," interim President and CEO Dennis Hayes told The Baltimore Sun.
NAACP communications director Richard McIntyre told the newspaper that "All our bills are paid, and there’s money in the bank" but said the organization has used about $10 million in reserve funds to pay bills and debts because of a downturn in donations.
"It’s the same type of situation where if you find yourself going to your savings more than you would like to, you’re going to make changes," McIntyre said.
Mychal Massie, chairman of the black conservative group Project 21, told the Cybercast News Service that the NAACP’s financial woes are no surprise because it ignores the real plight of black Americans on issues such as abortion.
"[T]hey’re not addressing the very real ills in the black community" such as "out-of-control abortion, which amounts to nothing more than black genocide."
In fact, abortion has adversely affected the African-American community and Dr. Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., notes that abortion has disproportionately affected black Americans.
While black women constitute about 13% of the childbearing population, they have over one-third of the abortions. The abortion rate of black women is three times higher than that of white women and 60% of African-American women who become pregnant will have an abortion.
More than 14 million abortions have been done on black women and abortion businesses are frequently located in minority communities.
"I join the voices of thousands across America who can no longer sit idly by and allow this horrible spirit of murder to cut down," King says. "If the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is to live, our babies must live."
Meanwhile, polls show black Americans are pro-life and supporting pro-life candidates in greater margins than before.
In an August 2004 survey sponsored by Pace University and Rock the Vote, 54 percent of all Americans declared themselves pro-life while just 44 percent said they supported legal abortion. However, African-American voters took a pro-life position by a larger 59 to 42 percent margin.