A pro-life Mississippi lawmaker is facing criticism for trying to protect unborn babies from discrimination based on their race, sex or disability.
Abortion activists implied that state Sen. Joey Fillingane, R-Covington, is a racist because of statements he made Wednesday supporting a bill to ban discriminatory abortions.
The Life Equality Act (state House Bill 1295) passed the Mississippi Senate on Wednesday, and now heads to pro-life Republican Gov. Tate Reeves’ desk. The legislation prohibits abortions because of the unborn baby’s race, sex or genetic abnormality. It includes penalties and potential jail time for abortionists who violate the ban.
During the Senate debate, Fillingane, who is white, mentioned the story of black civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer as he urged fellow lawmakers to support the bill, the AP reports.
Hamer was forcibly sterilized by a white doctor without her knowledge or consent and went on to lead civil rights campaigns, including through the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party in the 1960s.
Fillingane compared the killing of unborn babies in abortions to the atrocities that Hamer and other black Americans experienced, saying, “This is a situation that harkens back to a very dark past,” according to the report.
But the comparison angered abortion activists, who claim they have a right to abort unborn babies no matter what the reason.
Laurie Bertram Roberts, the co-founder and director of Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund, slammed Fillingane for trying to interfere in women’s lives, according to the report.
“As a disabled black mother, I reject the disingenuous invoking of race, gender and disability while lawmakers refuse to enact policies to create true equity and equality,” Roberts said in a statement. “It’s time that Mississippi lawmakers stop wasting time and energy on trying to police the reproductive lives of Mississippians.”
It is not the first time abortion activists have criticized a lawmaker for exposing the horrors that abortion has wreaked on the black community. In 2016, a Democrat lawmaker from Wisconsin slammed a Republican lawmaker for asking the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus why they were not being more vocal about “how their communities are targeted in abortion.”
Abortions do allow for discrimination, and what is considered abhorrent once the baby is outside the womb is defended before the baby is born. Statistics indicate that unborn black babies, unborn babies with disabilities and unborn baby girls are targeted for abortions.
For example, census data indicates that African Americans make up about 13 percent of the U.S. population, but they have nearly 40 percent of all abortions. And New York City health statistics indicate that more African American babies are aborted in the city than are born each year. Many believe the abortion industry targets minorities for abortions as well. Research by Protecting Black Life found that 79 percent of Planned Parenthood surgical abortion facilities are located within walking distance of minority neighborhoods.
Other data shows similar discrimination against unborn babies with disabilities like Down syndrome and unborn baby girls.
States like Mississippi are working to protect unborn babies from this deadly discrimination, recognizing that both born and unborn children deserve the same protections under the law.