This year marks the 50th year that people have gathered around the world in solidarity to march for life in Washington, D.C. I have marched since the turn of this century almost every year. As we return to Washington, D.C. for the March for Life, let us remember that we are marching from victory to victory. We have overcome for life because Christ has overcome.
My uncle, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., once said that “the negro cannot win if he is willing to sacrifice the futures of his children for personal comfort and safety.” All too many children are dying for so many reasons today. One of the foremost issues and reasons is death by abortion.
According to the most recent data from the Guttmacher Institute, an estimated 930,160 abortions were performed in 2020, which is a 1.5 percent increase from their 2019 estimate. Of those 930,160 abortions, about 39 percent were performed on Black women, for a rate of 24.4 abortions per 1,000 Black women. This means that in 2020 alone, about 362,762 Black babies were aborted in the year 2020 alone. When this enormity is broken down, it means that black babies in the womb are aborted nearly 1,000 times per day, 41 times per hour, and once almost every two minutes.
March for Life, 2020. Photo Alveda King Ministries.
This travesty is exactly what my uncle meant when he said that Black America cannot sacrifice our future children for our own comfort and safety. By these numbers, one million Black babies are aborted every three years. These are entire generations of Black babies that have been snuffed out before they were even able to see the light of day.
This is the true travesty facing the Black community today. This slaughter of the innocents is the biggest civil rights issue of our time, and any so-called “advocate” who claims to stand for the Black community but ignores the issue of abortion is only trying to distract the American people from the most pressing issues at hand.
Yet by the grace of God and the courage of the pro-life movement, June of last year brought about an end to the constitutional travesty of Roe v. Wade. It is important for all of us to keep in mind that the Supreme Court’s decision in this case did not make abortion illegal in our country; it merely rejected the argument that there is a so-called “right to abortion” in the Constitution, and therefore abortion regulation now falls within the purviews of the legislatures at both the state and federal level.
Many states, such as Texas and my home state of Georgia, courageously passed laws banning or severely restricting abortions almost immediately. However, in six states plus Washington, D.C., abortion remains fully unrestricted and legal up to even the point of birth. An America First Policy Institute essay does a good job of explaining how the radical pro-abortion policies of these states are more extreme than the majority of the world, and 94 percent of Europe, and only a mere 5 percent of Americans think that “no restrictions should be placed on abortion” at all.
With this in mind, the pro-life movement knows that the next battleground for our beliefs is at the state level. Today our attention must turn to our local legislators and politicians to enact the will of their constituents in our own states and communities across the country.
As we march in Washington once again, our pro-life movement should do so with jubilation that our ultimate goal of overturning Roe was achieved. However, we also know that our work is far from over. We need to continue to be there for unborn children, we need to continue to offer love and support to vulnerable mothers, and we need to continue to spread Christ’s message of love and unity to the least among us.
Most importantly, we must remember my uncle’s warning: our country can never win if we are willing to “sacrifice the futures of [our] children for our own personal comfort and safety.” Once we as a the one-blood human race internalize this message, and defend life at all its stages, then and only then can we truly be said to be a country that values all human life — from the womb to the tomb.
Alveda C. King, PhD, serves as Chair of the America First Policy Institute’s Center for the American Dream. She is the daughter of the late slain civil rights activist Rev. A. D. King and the niece of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as a Christian evangelist.
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