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Abortion: The overlooked tragedy for black Americans

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During February, which is Black History Month, it is a good time to look upon the triumphs and tragedies in African American history. Movies like Harriet tell of heroes of the Underground Railroad and the struggle against slavery. It is good to honor those stories. There is, however, one tragedy of the African American community that is often overlooked: the tragedy of legalized abortion.

Abortion impacts African Americans at a higher rate than any other population group. In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released an Abortion Surveillance Report. According to that report, black women make up 14 percent of the childbearing population. Yet, 36 percent of all abortions were obtained by black women. At a ratio of 474 abortions per 1,000 live births, black women have the highest ratio of any group in the country.

Walt Blackman

Walt Blackman

When you use those percentages, it indicates that of the over 44 million abortions since the 1973 Roe vs Wade Supreme Court ruling, 19 million black babies were aborted. African Americans are just under 13 percent of United States population.

White women are five times less likely to have an abortion than black women. Perhaps it is a matter of availability. A study by Protecting Black Lives, in 2012, found that 79 percent of Planned Parenthood’s surgical abortion facilities are located within walking distance of minority communities.

In the past, we criticized the tobacco industry for targeting young people with their advertising. Recently, the nicotine vape industry has been criticized for similar practices. The prevalence of abortion providers in African American and Hispanic neighborhoods indicates the abortion industry is targeting too. It smacks of the eugenics-linked past of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger and her views of contraception and abortion as ways of diminishing the black population.

The impacts on our black communities are hard to fathom. According to the Guttmacher Institute, which generally supports abortion, in 2011 360,000 black babies were aborted. CDC statistics for 2011 show that 287,072 black deaths occurred from all other causes excluding abortion. By these numbers, abortion is the leading cause of death among blacks.

That same year, Dr. Kermit Gosnell, an abortionist in the Philadelphia area, was arrested. His arrest followed a raid on his clinic by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Agents were acting on suspicion that he had been over prescribing oxycodone, but once inside the clinic, they were shocked to find female patients writhing on tables, in a facility that was littered in feces from a flea-ridden cat that could roam free inside the premises. Dr. Gosnell was eventually charged with murder of a woman that had died from a botched abortion, and for several “live birth” abortions where he had killed babies born-alive. It is outrageous that it took a drug raid to finally bring the authorities to look at this house of horrors.

You would think such a horrific occurrence would be a big news story. When he went to trial, the press gallery was empty. Kermit Gosnell’s abortion mill was in a black community. The news media did not care.

A movie was released about the Gosnell trial in 2018. Despite being produced by known Hollywood actor Dean Cain (Clark Kent/Superman in the show Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman), the Gosnell trial movie had a hard time finding theatres to show it.

It is undeniably good that we convey the positive stories of our community to our fellow countrymen.  It is important that we pass on stories that empower us.  However, it is harmful to all black Americans if we continue to let society look the other way when it comes to the devastation that political policies like abortion wreak on the black community.

Republican Walt Blackman is a member of the Arizona House of Representative representing Legislative District 6.

20 comments

  1. He uses ONE clinic as evidence that all abortion is bad?

    Hell, black abortion is higher than white abortion because black poverty is higher than white poverty. The GOP is the enemy of efforts to bring down black poverty, the GOP is the center of the let em suffer and die movement.

    It has been demonstrated repeatedly that high quality sex education and free quality contraceptives can reduce the abortion numbers by as much as 70%.

    Unless Walt Blackman supports a program to feed all the hungry, house all the homeless, provide universal health care, tuition free public college and tech schools, provide jobs for all at a good living wage, decent retirement, meet the needs of those with disabilities, and, in general, care for the poor, he is a fraud, and has somewhere around zero chance of making significant inroads on abortion, black or white.

  2. Thats the dumbest answer ever Bob K..!! Democrats run all the states, counties and districts with the most poverty! Abortion! And state run slavery..! And are the same people that wear blackface and allow babies to be killed even after birth. Demonic and supporters will be judged too..!

  3. That’s a very stupid comment Bob Klahn. If a person supports a cause they work for that cause only! What you’re saying is like expecting a charity that works with cancer to also worry about heart disease, diabetes, pneumonia, measles etc. Anybody fighting the murder of innocent , pre born human beings, is fighting just that!! They are fighting for the rights of these people to be born. They aren’t responsible for everything that needs fixing, in society!!! It’s like expecting a lifeguard that saved you from drowning, to be responsible for you for the rest of your life!!! All those social problems you mentioned, have hundreds of charities working to improve them. The government and their state’s guverners are responsible for those things you mentioned too. Why on earth would you expect a pro life organization to start working on solving the homeless problem for example? That’s the remit of the charities for the homeless and government too!!!! Aburtion is wrong, that’s the bottom line. God bless.

  4. James Farthing

    The democratic party fought to keep slavery, began the KKK in 1866, established Jim Crowe, sabotaged reconstruction, attempted to block passage of the 13th and 14th Amendments, celebrated their own FDR as he imprisoned tens of thousands of Japanese Ammericans for being Japanese, nuked 200,000 Japanese civilians, put forth such candidates as LBJ and George Wallace, known racists and segregationists….and now, they fully support the genocide of millions of aftican-american babies via Planned Parenthood. Liberals are pious, naive dupes.

  5. How about personal responsibility? Hers and His?

  6. If Black Lives Matter, then what about all the abortions of black babies?

  7. dorothy maynard

    those lives mattered too, how many george floyd,s kingobamas, james, tubman, all americans in the 360,000?

  8. Thank you Bob Klahn! Great comments. I totally agree with you.

  9. The Question is:

    If the Black Lives Mater Organization and all their supporters really care about Black Lives why do they support Roe vs Wade? Why is BLM not protesting to stop black abortions in America? It’s a FACT that of the 44 million abortions since the 1973 Roe vs Wade Supreme Court ruling, 19 million black babies were killed by abortion. Will Nancy and the Dems get on their knees for this atrocity?

  10. Black abortion dont have nothing to do with police brutality. Is it better to have a child that police can kill later?

  11. All lives matter and that includes those precious little black babies who never even got a chance. One person in the comments above asked if the man who wrote this was willing to do a whole bunch of things first. Tell you what…..let’s save the babies first then we can work on the other things. Does the one who commented really think all those lives don’t deserve a chance because they might grow up in an impoverished neighborhood? He needs to get off of his self-righteous BLM high-horse and address the real problem. But I’ll tell you why so many men are all for abortion. It leaves them responsibility free. No child support for them to pay. No one ever talks about that but I wonder how many of those little babies would not have been killed if they had a man who was willing to step up and be a daddy?

  12. ManyGood Points in comments. REGINA, u hit the nail on the head (on abortion topic). Where are those infants’ fathers? Some ppl say:”Black men cant find jobs. That’s why they leave,” Wud it not be way better if they remained wth those children, help them grown- rather than abandoning them/their mothers? I also agree with Klahn, the BLM/ Abortion issues are addressed when poverty is addressed. Totally true as well.

  13. I am just waiting for the person who will blame Trump for all this.

  14. I never thought I would see the day when it was considered OK to murder babies, for God’s sake! The Democratic Party should be held to account for supporting the genocide of babies of whatever color.

  15. @T Lester Black on black murders are much higher than police on black murders. You need to know there were more unarmed white men killed by police than black in 2019 by a 1:2. 10 blacks, 20 whites. Unarmed does not mean not dangerous. Most police officers are good and if you hate all cops then, well you’re stupid.

  16. I thought long and hard about this conversation and whether or not I would respond. I am a 63 year old black woman. I think back on the time that i considered abortion and I did not live a poverty stricken life.
    I lived in a neighborhood where our family was the third black family to move there. i lived between an Italian family and Jewish family. it wasn’t long before both moved out. my point is we had options. I had the option to have or not have a baby with or without the father. People have choices. Many times we would like to blame others for such issues and many times there are many who pervert the good intentions of others. who’s fault is it if abortion becomes the option? I can only say that I did have an abortion and it was my choice. I don’t know if I would have kept the child if there were no such places to safely perform them, and i do not know that holding the facility solely responsible, even if i agree that abortions are wrong now, is the answer to the problem for black, white, or red babies lives today. I do know that generational curses are inherited and we see that in the black community where slavery is a legacy as well as seeing it in the suburban white community where slave master’s mentality is inherited. It will take both to break the curses by excepting that it is time for change. Love you all

  17. Gail….”the suburban white community where slave master’s mentality is inherited?” Are you serious?? Do you realize how racist and stereotypical you sound?? The majority of Caucasian people’s ancestors have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with slave owning. Sick and tired of all this racist B.S. fanning the flames which is doing nothing but dividing people even further.

  18. So, please explain how BLM?

  19. It’s a matter of moral dignity….maybe keeping your legs together instead if using abortion as birth control would be a better idea…Democrat run cities are slums…get out of there or vote conservative and you’ll see the cities Clean up…the rest of your comment is plain B.S!

  20. I’m pregnant, 2 months away from giving birth. It breaks my heart to think of all the babies who have had their lives ended so soon. While I hate abortion I don’t think the answer is to just make it illegal. Then we will have women putting themselves in dangerous situations in order to seek out an abortion. Instead, there needs to be some sort of mandated therapy and educational classes you take if you are seeking an abortion. Educational classes geared towards educating people on the life developing within, resources they can seek out if they want to raise the child or adoption options. Abortions also shouldn’t be allowed past a certain time frame either. I think Save the Storks is a great example of an organization that is tackling the issue of abortion head-on through educating and loving the women who are seeking out abortions: https://savethestorks.com/

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