When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke those timeless words “I have a dream” from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, he inspired generations to fight for equal rights for every human being.
Just 10 short years later, the U.S. Supreme Court issued another devastating setback to that dream when it forced states to legalize abortion on demand through Roe v. Wade.
Since 1973, more than 61 million unborn babies, including 20 million black babies, have been killed in abortions in America. Before birth, even though they are unique, living human beings, unborn babies have no rights. Now, there are political leaders who openly say they would deny them basic human rights even after birth.
Abortion has hit the black community particularly hard. In New York City, health statistics indicate that more black babies have been aborted than born in recent years. The abortion rate among black Americans is 3.5 times higher than that of white Americans, according to research by Walter B. Hoye II, founder and president of the Issues4Life Foundation.
It is a new devastation that King likely did not foresee when he told those crowded in downtown D.C.: “I have a dream. One day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed … that all men are created equal.”
Though King died before Roe, his teachings challenged Americans to press on and fight selflessly for justice and peace for all human beings.
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” King challenged his listeners.
How drastically that contrasts with abortion activists’ claims that it is ok for women to be self-centered when they choose abortion. King’s legacy was other-oriented. He called on Americans to act selflessly, to fight peacefully for the rights of the vulnerable. And none are more vulnerable today than defenseless babies in the womb.
As King once said: “With patient and firm determination we will press on until every valley of despair is exalted to new peaks of hope, until every mountain of pride and irrationality is made low by the levelling process of humility and compassion; until the rough places of injustice are transformed into a smooth plane of equality of opportunity; and until the crooked places of prejudice are transformed by the straightening process of bright-eyed wisdom.”
Human rights abuses persist, but so do the leaders who fight to end them. King’s niece, Dr. Alveda King, is a strong leader in the fight for life. She and an increasingly diverse group of pro-life leaders are fighting to end the injustice of abortion and restore our nation and culture to one that respects every human life, born and unborn.
It is a long and difficult battle to end the human rights abuse of abortion, but hope remains as long as there are those who refuse to give up on the dream.