Black Catholic Bishop Holley: Abortion Exploits African-American Community

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 16, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Black Catholic Bishop Holley: Abortion Exploits African-American Community

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 16
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — One of the top black Catholic leaders in the nation issued a call for the African-American community to do more to reject abortion. Bishop Martin D. Holley, Auxiliary Bishop of Washington, says a new report underscores the racist nature of abortion and how it preys on black Americans.

Bishop Holley issued a statement received responding to a report by the Guttmacher Institute, named after a former Planned Parenthood president, showing black women have abortions at five times the rate of white women.

“As an African American, I am saddened by evidence that Black women continue to be targeted by the abortion industry," the bishop said. "The loss of any child from abortion is a tragedy, but we must ask: Why are minority children being aborted at such disproportionate rates?”

“Our legitimate commitment to other social concerns must not push the primary moral issue of abortion onto the back burner. It clearly must be at the heart and center of our discussion of the survival of African American people,” Bishop Holley said.

The report, released in September, found that, although abortion rates have declined among all racial and ethnic groups, large disparities persist with Hispanic and black women obtaining abortions at rates three and five times higher, respectively, than non-Hispanic white women.

Between 1994 and 2004, the abortion rate for Hispanic women fell by 20% and there was a 30% decline among non-Hispanic white women. But black women saw the lowest decline — at 15 percent during the same time period.

Black women account for 37% of abortions, white women for 34%, Hispanic women 22% and women of other races 8%.

Holley serves as chairman of the Sub-Committee on African American Affairs at the States Conference of Catholic Bishops and is a member of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

In comments provided to, Bishop Holley also called for the federal defunding of the abortion industry.

“Every year the federal government gives over $300 million to Planned Parenthood. Last year for the first time, Planned Parenthood took in over one billion dollars and reported a profit of $51 million,” he said of the supposed non-profit organization.

The Bishop called upon African Americans to “defend our community by rededicating ourselves to family life and marriage, promoting the gift of chastity and marital fidelity, committing ourselves to prayer and service to others and defending the life and dignity of each human person."

"We can welcome every child as a gift and we can overcome abortion," he said.

Related web sites:
Bishop Holley’s statement –

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