Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Can't make history without people

Schools, libraries non-profits and other groups celebrate February as Black History Month. Though Americans of every color- white, black, brown, red, whatever- are created equal, I'd like to highlight the disproportionally high rate of abortion among black women as we celebrate their heritage and history this month.

The statistically reliable organization, Guttmacher Institute, which is also an arm of the Planned Parenthood, has statistics showing that "black women are more than 3 times as likely as white women to have an abortion." This means that of the 1.3 million abortions in the US last year, roughly .5 million were black women and black babies.

Despite this sad evidence, there are few leaders, let alone activists in the pro-life movement from within the black community. Dr. Alveda King, Rev. Clenard Childress, Charnette Messe, LeShawn Barber, Lillie Epps to name a few… Let's take a look at each of these black pro-life leaders.

Dr. Alveda King widely popular presentations center on her family's involvement in the Civil Right's Movement of the 1960s and her own personal abortion story. That's right, she is the niece of Martin Luther King, Jr. Attending one of Alveda's talks is special because she will often make us stand together and lock arms and sing the freedom march songs from the Civil Rights movement.

Pastor Childress is the director of the Life Education and Resource Network, which is an effort to expose the agenda of the Planned Parenthood against blacks and other minorities. His work is an invaluable asset to the pro-life movement.

Charnette Messe's abortion experience led her to a battle with breast cancer, and now she is dedicated to exposing the link between these deadly horrors. "I love this scar" is how she starts her testimony, given at many Silent No More Awareness Campaign events. She and her husband are a dynamic duo in the pro-life movement. Her husband is a physician in the US Navy, and has been firm to the point of jeopardizing his position about not prescribing contraceptives.

LeShawn Barber is a free-lance writer, speaker and avid blogger. At the March for Life where I met her for the first time, she expressed her concern for the lack of black activists in the pro-life movement. I agree, but if anyone is going to influence a young black person to become active in the pro-life movement, it is going to be her!

Lillie Epps of Care-Net spoke about the lack of pro-life leadership and involvement in a recent article that I highly recommend reading. This article gives many reasons for the lack of black activists in the movement, such as the fact that the main face of the movement is young white people. It also spoke about the fact that most of the photos splashed on the media of the March for Life were white kids, not minorities.

But, on a happy note, the Family Life/ Respect Life office of the NYC Archdiocese brought almost 400 youth from the South Bronx to the March for Life. Sporting bright green scarves and mingling with the Sisters of Life and CFR sisters and brothers, these kids were a great sign of encouragement to myself and others. I have also see so many young black and Hispanic teens come to the monthly vigils held by the Helpers of God's Precious Infants in Brooklyn and Queens. These vigils are the largest I've been to outside of my experience at college, and the young people fill the entire Church. Very, very encouraging.

Happy Black History Month- please keep making history!!

1 comment:

  1. Mary, I saw you mentioned in The Nation:

    Well done! Keep up the great work!