by Steven Ertelt
January 23, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Roe v. Wade celebrated its thirty-fifth anniversary on Tuesday, but prominent African-American leaders say the black community isn’t ready to party. That’s because abortion has affected black Americans in disproportionate numbers as more blacks have abortions and more abortion business are in historically black neighborhoods.
Day Gardner, the head of the National Black Pro-Life Union, tells LifeNews.com that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., would have been a strong pro-life advocate were he alive today.
"I believe if Dr. King were alive today, he would not rest until every unborn child was granted his or her basic right to life," she says.
Gardner laments that the black church is not as involved in the civil rights battle against abortion as it was the civil rights battle for equal treatment under law and in society.
"Today, too many churches and black ministers close their eyes to the 15 million deaths of black children slaughtered by abortion since 1973," Gardner says.
"Many pastors are not only afraid they will offend congregation members who have had abortions, but are also afraid they may offend many family members–wives, sisters, mothers, and daughters who have traveled down the road to abortion providers," she explains.
"What these ministers fail to preach is that abortion is not the unforgivable sin," Gardner said.
"They need to stand boldly as I believe Dr. King would have–shouting from the mountaintop that we serve a mighty Savior that can forgive every sin and will heal every pain," Gardner explained.
Jackson, Mississippi resident Phillip H. Berkemeier agrees.
"If Dr. King was with us today I firmly believe that he would be fully engaged in the civil-rights issue of our time, the right to life of the unborn," he wrote in a letter to the Jackson Citizen Patriot newspaper.
"African-Americans make up a little more than 12 percent of the total population, but 34 percent of all abortions in this country," he explained.
"I believe that if Dr. King were here, he would speak out boldly against abortion," he said, adding that the "multimillion-dollar abortion industry would not be able to buy him off."
The reluctance of the black community to embrace the problem of abortion is borne out in their voting patterns. Though a majority of African-Americans are pro-life, they strongly support pro-abortion candidates.
A September Americas Majority poll of 3,292 African American voters found that 87 percent of black Americans voted for pro-abortion candidate John Kerry for president in 2004 but 70.6 percent of pro-life black voters did as well.
"African Americans are more conservative than their white counterparts on numerous issues, including abortion," Americas Majority press secretary John Altevogt told LifeNews.com in a statement.
"Yet, as our research shows, African Americans who are pro-life … regularly vote for candidates who share none of these views," he added.
The study involved 10,952 Americans regardless of race and it found that blacks and Hispanics were more likely to oppose abortion than their white counterparts.