Why Aren't Black Leaders Outraged Over Abortion?

The outrage in the black community over a New York billboard that proclaims a message that is undeniably true baffles me. A group called Life Always, based out of Austin, Texas sponsored the billboard that was displayed on the side of a building in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City. The billboard displayed a picture of a young, African-American girl in a pink dress with the message "The most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb."

The billboard and its message caused a swift and stunning reaction from many local politicians in New York. City Council member Letitia James said, "Every woman has the right to make personal choices in regards to her body, and I respect many different points of view, to compare abortion to terrorism and genocide is highly offensive." Christine C. Quinn, another council member said, "To refer to any woman's legal right to an abortion as a 'genocidal plat' is not only absurd, but it is offensive to women and to communities of color."

More offensive than the fact that almost 60% of all abortions in New York City in 2009 were performed on African-American women? More offensive than the fact that for every 1000 live African-American births there were 1,489 abortions? More offensive than the fact that African-Americans account for 12.8% of the nations population but 35% of all abortions? You would think Ms James and Ms. Quinn, along with every other African-American leader in America would be taking to the streets to demand an investigation into why some many blacks are dying in the womb. Since 1973, when Roe vs. Wade legalized abortion, just over 13 million African-Americans have been aborted. That's more than twice all the African-American deaths since 1973 from heart disease (2.26 million), cancer (1.64 million), accidents (307,723), violent crimes (306,313) and AIDS (203,649) combined!

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Upon hearing the news that the billboard would be taken down by Lamar Advertising the Rev. Al Sharpton released a statement saying, "The billboard was offensive, especially during Black History Month, and I had intended to hold a press conference Friday in front of the billboard to protest the message of racial profiling and against a woman's right to choose."

Excuse me, racial profiling? Does the Rev. Sharpton not think Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers are guilty of racial profiling when they perform far more abortions on African-American women than on any other group? Planned Parenthood defended itself by accusing Life Always of, "using a divisive message around race to restrict access to medical care." How insensitive of Planned Parenthood to call the death of 40,798 black babies nothing more than a restriction of "medical care." Planned Parenthood pointed to a statistic that says only 3 percent of its services are abortion services while 82 percent are target toward preventing unintended pregnancies. With all due respect that is a bit like telling Mrs. Lincoln that she missed the best part of the play.

What Planned Parenthood failed to mention is that in 2007, the most recent year the numbers are available, they referred 4,912 babies for adoption while performing 305,310 abortions. That means their abortion to adoption ratio is 62:1. And by the way, for 2010 the three Planned Parenthood facilities nearest the SoHo site of the billboard reported a combined 17,000 abortions.

The black community should be outraged but not by a billboard that simply represents the truth. They should be outraged over a loss of life in their own community that is staggering. I just don't understand why liberals and leftists feel they have to defend each other's sacred cows even when it is to their own detriment. Planned Parenthood is no friend to the African American community. They place their clinics in low-income neighborhoods to take advantage of those who feel they have no choice other than ending a human life. They prey on those who are confused and scared because the blessing of life has become a crisis.

These are women who need care and compassion. They need to hear the truth about the life that grows inside of them. African-American leaders should be meeting those girls where they are offering them alternatives to ending the life of another child. The God of the Bible is the one true God who loves and gives life. Rather than being upset about the true message of a single billboard maybe African-American leaders would be better served by bringing the message of life to those who believe the death of their child is the only answer.

Dr. Tony Beam is Vice-President for Student Services and Director of the Christian Worldview Center at North Greenville University in Tigerville, South Carolina.

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