Black History Month has drawn to a close, and former NFL player and author Ben Watson acknowledged its end by highlighting that the greatest injustice in black history still continues in the hundreds of thousands of black babies aborted each year.
As Black History Month comes to a close, I see no more glaring and deadly sign of the compounding trauma, injustice, and inequity of black history than the hundreds of thousands of black preborn children whose lives are terminated by abortion each year. If we’re going to remember this tragedy—as we must—we must also determine how we got here.
In the public square, the staggering black abortion rate deserves more attention and substantive dialogue than it is currently receiving. No, abortion is not health care, and no, our social ills are not the result of pathology. #bhm https://t.co/zntnRFnd9u
— Benjamin Watson (@BenjaminSWatson) March 1, 2023
Watson, the vice president of strategic relationships for Human Coalition, a national pro-life organization, observes the “jaw-dropping figures” describing the disproportionate number of black abortions.
“Black women are nearly four times as likely to have an abortion as their white counterparts,” he notes. “Recent studies have found that for every 100 live births, nearly 12 white babies will be aborted, while nearly 43 black babies will die by abortion for every 100 live births.”
He adds, however, that a “deeper” look into the “host of evils” that allows abortion to continue in the black community must accompany these statistics along with Planned Parenthood’s targeting of the black community.
High unemployment rates and levels of poverty for blacks and the fact that black children “are around three times more likely than white children to live in poverty” are among those “evils,” Watson stresses, noting that Human Coalition learned 76 percent of women seeking an abortion would rather have their baby if their life circumstances were different.
“None of these disparities absolve anyone of their responsibility when making a decision about whether to pursue an abortion,” Watson still stresses. “But they do raise a question: how can we address the circumstances that drive women to choose abortion?”
Retired NFL coach and pro-life activist Tony Dungy tweeted his appreciation of Watson’s op-ed.
Thank you for posting this @BenjaminSWatson I hope people will read this article as you have taken an honest look at the entire issue. But the bottom line is undeniable – black children are being killed in America at an alarming rate and we need to be part of the solution! https://t.co/jzfoLLp29E
— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) March 1, 2023
Like many pro-life leaders in the post-Roe era, Watson is urging legislative policies and programs that will assist black mothers and their communities in creating a “culture of life.”
The foundation of that “culture,” however, must be the church, he asserts:
The church needs to be at the forefront of the solution, offering financial assistance and child care to single moms, as well as steering church members toward reputable adoption organizations. James 1:27 reminds us that “religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Life is sacred. Clergy must not kowtow to prevailing cultural whims, popular politicians, or special interests. Instead, as faithful shepherds, they must encourage their flock to protect all life, before and after birth.
While that “culture of life” is being established in black communities, and people work together “to create a more just society,” Watson says the messages that abortion “is not health care” and that “our social ills are not the result of pathology” must not be reduced to the status of mere “talking points.”
Instead, he says the work that lies ahead will serve to “promote and protect the core purpose of this past month’s celebration – the beautiful story and undeniable worth of black life.”
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Susan Berry, PhD, is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]