By Catherine Davis and Bradley Mattes originally posted February 28, 2020
Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a founding member of what is now called the Association for the Study of African American History, announced the first “Negro History Week” in 1926, selecting February because it held the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, two icons in the history of blacks in America.
The celebration grew to a monthlong observance in 1976. Beginning with Gerald Ford, every president has issued a proclamation honoring February as Black History Month.
While many positive accomplishments by African Americans are now brought to our attention every February, there are those who exploit this annual event to further their own political agenda, which is actually counter to the historical advancement of blacks in American history.
Among them is Planned Parenthood. The nation’s largest abortion provider has done a masterful job of creating a false impression that its programs somehow benefit the black community. A recent example of its success is Charity Navigator’s inclusion of Planned Parenthood in a list of charities that promote “black health, education, rights and community development.” Recommended For You Filibuster stick-in-the-mud: Kyrsten Sinema emerges as focal point of left-wing frustration ‘More like a snack for a toddler than a meal for an adult’: How our National Guard troops are being fed at the Capitol Biden sparks new immigration surge, many with coronavirus
The tragic reality is that 79% of Planned Parenthood abortion facilities are located within walking distance of neighborhoods that have proportionately higher populations of black or Latina women. An analysis of census tract data clearly documents that this kingpin of the abortion industry targets women of color, selling them the illusion that they must choose between career advancement and the lives of their babies. Any doubt about this skewed impact on women of color would be dispelled if Planned Parenthood were to publish data on the proportion of its abortion clients who are minorities. Planned Parenthood pointedly declines to release this data.
Joining Planned Parenthood’s deception are the many legislators who benefit from the organization’s largesse. This month, several Democratic U.S. senators incredibly cited race when opposing a bill requiring medical aid for babies born alive after a botched abortion. One stated that black babies are three times more likely to die in their first year, which is an odd reason to withhold care from them. Another senator cited racial disparities in the healthcare industry to justify not giving lifesaving aid to already-born infants. A third Democratic senator cited abortion as a means of lowering the 700 maternal mortality cases each year in the United States.
This so-called advocacy during the month that celebrates black life is an insult to black women and the nation.
Abortion in America has contributed to the greatest decline in black population since the first black slaves arrived in the Americas in the 1600s. According to U.S. census data, there were 18,871,831 black American citizens in 1960. Since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in 1973, abortion has killed an estimated 20 million black babies — more than the entire black population of 1960.
How does this benefit the black community?
Claims that the pro-life community is a bunch of white supremacists are completely baseless. Such calumny cannot erase the truth that abortion has been used to control the black birth rate, and Planned Parenthood has led that charge. Pro-life leaders, both black and white, have linked arms with the grassroots movement, and we are advancing the protection of black unborn babies and their mothers.
Only in a world of twisted logic could organizations and individuals working tirelessly to save black lives from abortion be called “racist” for their efforts. Only in a world of twisted logic can it be acceptable for legislators to use the race of those killed to justify their destruction.
We reject both ideas. Instead, we stand with the spirit of Douglass, who called the Declaration of Independence, with its affirmation of the right to life and application to “all men,” the “ring-bolt to the chain of [our] nation’s destiny.” As Douglass said, “The principles contained in that instrument are saving principles. Stand by those principles, be true to them on all occasions, in all places, against all foes, and at whatever cost.”
Catherine Davis is president of the Restoration Project. Bradley Mattes is president of the Life Issues Institute.