Recently, a well-known national organization posted the following tweet in response to the current turmoil and tension following the death of George Floyd:
“We’re devastated, grieving, and outraged by violence against Black lives. We must continue to demand accountability, justice, and an end to the inequity that continues to define every moment of life for Black America from the racist institutions that uphold white supremacy.”
I absolutely agree with the sentiments expressed here. Unbelievably, though, this statement was made by none other than Planned Parenthood.
It’s tempting to dig into the rich irony of the phrase “racist institutions that uphold white supremacy” when that accusation is made by an organization whose founder’s goal was the elimination of African Americans.
I’ll leave that for another post and focus on another irony instead.
Let’s talk about the “inequity that continues to define every moment of life for Black America.”
Before I go any further, let me say this first:
I am horrified and deeply dismayed at the egregious injustices done to members of the black community in our nation, not only in recent days, but in our history.
No one should have to fear going out on a jog. No one should have to worry about police breaking into their home at night to shoot them as they lay sleeping.
No one should have their last breath taken by the brutality of one whose job was supposed to be to protect people by upholding the law.
Racism is real, it is ugly, and it runs deep.
Here’s the thing: contrary to common accusations, as a pro-life person, I care about all people—not just the unborn.
Protecting the preborn is one cause that makes me shed a tear and pound my fist on the table—but as one who believes in the imago Dei, I am equally moved by other injustices against humanity.
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I’ve been weeping. I’ve been praying for healing in our nation. I’ve been talking to my Native American daughter-in-law to learn more about what life is like for non-whites.
I’m asking God to change me and help me be part of the solution.
For the Christian, fighting racism and fighting abortion are not mutually exclusive causes. They are two sides of the same coin.
Both issues are grounded in the reality that human beings are created in God’s image and therefore carry inestimable value, from womb to tomb.
The God who commands us to protect His preborn children is the same God who commands us to provide justice for the oppressed and uphold their rights (Psalm 82:3).
Yet far too many followers of Jesus are taking potshots at one another for not being more vocal about one cause or the other.
Come on, guys.
Protecting the unborn and standing against injustice toward people of color is not a matter of either/or, but rather, both/and.
In fact, the pro-life message of the sanctity of human life not only serves to protect the most vulnerable among us (the preborn), but the most vulnerable of our vulnerable (African American preborn children).
Back to Planned Parenthood’s remark about the “inequity that continues to define every moment of life for Black America.”
Every moment? How about all the moments in the womb?
Moments like a heart beginning to beat. Like thumb-sucking sleeping and waking. Like kicking and waving. Like responding to music and to Mama’s voice.
Let’s talk about the inequity that defines those first nine months of life for black people.
Abortion is the number one killer of black lives in the United States. According to the CDC, abortion kills more black people than HIV, homicide, diabetes, accident, cancer, and heart disease combined.
In 2014, African American women comprised 13.3% of the U.S. population, but black women had 36% of all abortions.
Today, 28% of all black pregnancies end in induced abortion.
All this adds up to the tragic fact that the most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb.
Every child deserves to be valued and protected while being knit together by God in that most sacred of spaces (Psalm 139:13-16).
Yet, as Canadian musician and blogger James Deagle points out, Planned Parenthood uses scare tactics to solicit more abortions from black women, using the extremely low risk of maternal death (0.0004% chance) as fodder for fear.
At least three causes of maternal death, Deagle explains, are related to heart health (cardiovascular disease, non-cardiovascular disease and cardiomyopathy, for a combined total of 40.2% of pregnancy-related maternal death), and are conditions that can be reduced through nutrition, exercise, and adequate health care.
Since the black community is at higher risks for the above conditions, Deagle wonders, why doesn’t Planned Parenthood offer programs to enhance heart health and good nutrition for African American women?
If they are “devastated, grieving and outraged by violence against black lives,” I would add, why don’t they stop committing violence against black lives in the womb?
How can they condemn racism while acting as key players in the travesty of black genocide in America?
Planned Parenthood claims they care about black lives, but evidently, they care more about black dollars.
In contrast, pro-life organizations offer hope-based, life-affirming alternatives free of charge to the under-served in our communities.
Those free services include life skills classes on topics like nutrition, budgeting and parenting.
We honor the image of God equally in every person, regardless of whether they are black or white, born or unborn.
We believe black lives matter—every moment, from conception on.