- (Photo: WISTV.com)
A church in South Carolina has put up a controversial message on its sign, claiming that pro-choice organizations like Planned Parenthood "target black babies."
Macedonia Baptist Church of Columbia recently posted the message "Ultimate Racism: Abortionists Target Black Babies" on its sign.
In an interview with local media, Macedonia Baptist pastor Patrick Dye, who is white, argued that Planned Parenthood clinics, including one near his church, were targeting racial minorities.
"Planned Parenthood purposely locates in minority communities…The Planned Parenthood clinic is located at the edge of a white community, but right there within walking distance of the housing project on Forest Drive and Two Notch Road," said Dye to WIS TV.
"I cannot be silent and just say that's somebody else's problem or I'm not dark enough to care about that issue. I can't do that…This is the crime of America."
The Christian Post attempted to call Macedonia Baptist for an interview, but the church's number was disconnected.
During the decades-old debate over abortion access in America, one allegation that groups like Planned Parenthood have weathered is the claim of racism.
In 2008, for example, a gathering of black leaders that included Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., demanded that both major political parties defund Planned Parenthood leading up to that year's presidential election.
"Planned Parenthood really does target our communities to specifically kill black babies," said King in an interview with cnsnews.com.
"If you add up all the people who were killed during the days of slavery, the horrendous time of the Ku Klux Klan in the mid-20th century…it is not going to approach the 14 million black babies legally aborted since 1973."
Since 2008, several billboards, rallies, and other pro-life events have argued that Planned Parenthood and its founder Margaret Sanger sought to eliminate racial minorities, especially blacks, through the abortion industry.
Planned Parenthood and its supporters have denied the allegations, saying that they support health care for all people and that Sanger worked alongside black leaders in the 1930s to help meet the health care needs of urban minority communities.
"The fact is Planned Parenthood opposes discrimination in any form and has worked to address racial and economic bias in access to health care for 95 years," reads a Planned Parenthood paper from 2011.
"[A Guttmacher Institute] report says fewer than one in 10 abortion clinics are located in predominantly African-American neighborhoods."
Regarding issues people may have with his church's sign, Pastor Dye told WIS TV that he hoped the message would lead them to reconsider their position.
"For those who don't agree, I hope it would get them to thinking, considering the issue, and being willing to have an open heart and open mind to say, 'What is it I need to know?" Dye said.