On Martin Luther King Day, Blacks Face Racial Challenge From Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 17, 2011   |   11:51AM   |   Washington, DC

As the nation pauses today to remember the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., black Americans face a racial threat from a much different source than the ones King confronted:  abortion.

The Guttmacher Institute recently released a new report on abortion statistics nationwide that confirms the abortion industry continues to target black Americans. Abortions on black women still occur at a much higher rate than the percentage of African-Americans in society as a whole.

The Census Bureau, as of 2009, indicates black Americans comprise 12.4 percent of the total population of the United States, but Guttmacher’s new numbers reveal approximately 30 percent of the abortions in the United States are done on black women.

Statewide statistic in places with a large share of African-Americans also shows the racial component of abortion.

In Georgia in 2006, 57.4 percent of abortions are performed on African-American women even though blacks comprise just 30 percent of the general population. In Texas, abortions on black women comprise nearly 25% of all state abortions even though they only constitute 12.7% of the female population (ages 15-44). Every other racial demographic shares a smaller percentage of statewide abortions than their respective percentage of total population.

Rachel Jones, a senior research associate at the pro-abortion group and former Planned Parenthood affiliate, admits the average group of women who get an abortion “are more likely to be women of color” and black women “are more likely to have an abortion” than white women.

Susan Cohen, also of Guttmacher, adds: “This much is true: In the United States, the abortion rate for black women is almost five times that for white women. Black women are not alone in having disproportionately high unintended pregnancy and abortion rates. The abortion rate among Hispanic women, for example, although not as high as the rate among black women, is double the rate among whites.”

Looked at another way, in 2000, though black babies represented 17 percent of the live births in the United States, they accounted for 36 percent of the abortions. White babies accounted for 78 percent of the live births, according to CDC figures, but accounted for 57 percent of the abortions.

The numbers from Guttmchaer (see right) are nothing new, as the percentage of abortions on black women has been consistently about twice the rate of live births.

John R. Lott, Jr. and Sonya D. Jones pointed out in 2008 that the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision allowing unlimited abortions resulted in the increase in abortions on black women compared with the pre-Roe era.

“The Centers for Disease Control recorded detailed information on the race of those having abortions from 1970 to 1981. It shows Roe’s impact on abortions by blacks in the years immediately before and after the decision. The Supreme Court’s decision had the biggest impact on blacks, raising their share of abortions from 21 to 30 percent, while their share of live births only increased from 12 to 15 percent,” they noted.

“Obviously, numerous factors may explain the changes over time in abortion rates for different racial groups. But even after accounting for other influences on the decision to have an abortion — such as per capita income, the size of welfare payments, unemployment rates and unemployment insurance payments, and the age and gender distribution of the population — white women’s share of abortions still fell by almost 7 percent after Roe,” they added.

Leading pro-life figures in the black community cite these racial disparities in the abortion numbers as one of the main reasons for combating abortion itself. Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is among the pro-life advocates who bemoan the racial component of the abortion industry.

“Every three days, more African-Americans are killed by abortion than have been killed by the Ku Klux Klan in its entire history,” she says.

King points out that, were he alive today, her uncle would have been a strong abortion opponent and she points to advice columns written by her uncle for Ebony magazine in 1957-58 that reveal a man who would be regarded today as a clear social conservative.

“In advising men and women on questions of personal behavior 50 years ago, Uncle Martin sounded no different than a conservative Christian preacher does now,” King told LifeNews.com late last week.  “He was pro-life, pro-abstinence before marriage, and based his views on the unchanging Word of the Bible.  Today, Planned Parenthood would condemn Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as part of the ‘religious right.’”

In advice columns written for the African American-oriented magazine, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. told a young man who had impregnated his girlfriend and refused to marry her, resulting in a “crime,” that he had made a “mistake.”  He urged another reader to abstain from premarital sex, noting that such activity was contributing “to the present breakdown of the family.”

“Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man of peace, justice, and most of all a man of God,” added Alveda King.  “Were he alive today, he would be working to secure peace and justice for those in the womb and healing for a nation that is still pained by over 53 million missing lives.”

Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, attributes the racial disparity on abortion to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business which has purposefully built new abortion centers in minority communities in places like Houston, Portland, and Chicago.

“Planned Parenthood has preyed on minorities since its founder advocated negative eugenics! If Congress truly wants across-the-board reductions in abortion, our leaders will have to stop funding its biggest provider,” said Perkins.

But pro-life advocates aren’t content to see abortion continue to destroy the African-American community and they are doing something about it with multiple billboard campaigns letting people know about the figures. That includes a new campaign in Los Angeles, California featuring billboards going up all over town. In conjunction with Walter Hoye, a pro-life African-American pastor, the Radiance Foundation is launching the new campaign.

“Billboards will be up through Black History Month and are an attempt to raise awareness of abortion’s devastating and disproportionate impact in the black community,” Ryan Bomberger told LifeNews.com last week.

Hoye says he’s excited about the billboard campaign as he has been trying to raise nationwide awareness of the way in which abortions target black children.

“The impact of abortion in the African-American community is the Darfur of America,” Hoye declares, citing the 53 million aborted since 1973, 18 million of which are African-American.

Dr. La Verne Tolbert, a former Planned Parenthood board member, says black children are targeted through the schools for abortions in California.

“In California, children are targeted for abortions through school-based clinics and school-linked clinics, which are family planning clinics on or near school grounds. Girls are taken off campus to a Planned Parenthood clinic, where abortions are performed without parental consent or notification,” she said.