National Catholic Register

Culture of Life

Black Marchers Decry Abortion Racism

BY Josh Mercer

October 24-30, 1999 Issue | Posted 10/24/99 at 2:00 PM

 

WASHINGTON—The march on Washington of black pro-lifers that ended at the Supreme Court on Oct. 9 was not Joyce Smith's first civil rights march.

Smith marched many times with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Now, she said it was time to march for the rights of her preborn “brothers and sisters.”

“When you destroy a human life, that's murder,” Smith told the Register. “Abortion is totally against God. It's immoral.”

She was one of a hundred black pro-lifers who walked more than 200 miles from Newark, N.J., to deliver a blunt message: Racism and abortion are linked.

The first Say So March followed the path of the Underground Railroad, through which thousands of slaves passed to freedom.

The organizers said they plan on retracing the path every year until abortion is stopped. Star Parker, an activist for black opportunity causes and a Catholic, told the Register, “Just as that route was a road of freedom to our people, it will also be the road to save our people in the 21st century.”

Though publicity of the march was minimal, people responded warmly to their message, she said. “They came out of their houses into the streets to us, clapping and singing,” Parker said.

“The response we got has been great,” said Damon Owens, a Catholic from Newark, who organized the march in order to raise awareness of the catastrophic effect abortion is having on the black community. “Some people in Wilmington grabbed their sneakers and joined the march. A guy came down from Canada and joined the march in Philadelphia.”

In the future, organizers hope to attract 1,452 marchers to represent the loss the black community suffers to abortion. This year, marchers laid 1,452 roses on the steps of the Supreme Court — one for each black child that dies from abortion every day in the United States.

Marchers saw the abortion problem as particularly acute in the black community. Owens cited an African American Life Alliance study that found that, unless attitudes change in the black community, the black population would plummet from 30 million to 8 million during the 21st century.

“This is genocide,” Owens contended. “That is the passion behind the march, the respect for life.”

Marchers also criticized high-dollar philanthropists like Ross Perot and Warren Buffett for giving millions to organizations like Planned Parenthood, which is America's largest provider of abortions.

“We want to tell those who fund abortion providers, thinking they are helping blacks, that they are (in fact) killing us,” said the Rev. Johnny Hunter.

Hunter criticized Bill Gates in particular. Gates, who donates millions to the abortion industry, recently announced a donation of $1 billion in minority scholarships. “What good is a scholarship to a dead child?” Hunter asked. As the Register went to press, the Gates Foundation had not returned a phone call.

Noticeably absent in the peaceful demonstration were counterprotesters from pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood, the National Organization for Women or the National Abortion Rights Action League who are usually present at any Washington march that deals with abortion. Parker said their absence was no accident.

“They can't have black pro-lifers on one side and whites in favor of abortion on the other side,” she said. “They know that they can't do that on TV.”

Marchers claimed that racism has motivated the abortion movement from the beginning — and said they had evidence that proved it.

Said Hunter, “Even though we make up 12% of the population, we supply 33% of the abortion industry's business. We have fallen prey to Margaret Sanger's plan for the black race.”