Abortion: An African-American holocaust
By Susan Brinkmann
• Almost half of all African-American babies in Philadelphia are aborted.
• Nationally, African American women make up only 12 percent of the female
population but account for 36 percent of all abortions.
• Legalized abortion kills 3,500 babies every day ฏ
1260 of them are black.
Although it might seem hard to believe, these startling statistics about
the decimation of African-Americans by legal abortion are relatively unknown.
They are the result of the eugenics program begun by Planned Parenthood's
founder, Margaret Sanger, at the beginning of the 20th century. Sanger, an
admirer of Hitler, made no attempt to hide her motive: eliminating the people
she deemed inferior, such as blacks and the disabled. Her plan was to do
this through the widespread availability of abortion and birth control.
Her plan was a success. Hidden inside the compassionate language of "free
choice" and "women's rights" is what has turned out to be a holocaust for
"We have not been talking about this in the black community," said Pat Shelton,
former Director of the Office for Black Catholics. "We're fighting this old myth
that black people keep their babies and white people have all the abortions.
That's what a lot of people believe. We're just discovering the numbers
ฏ the percentages. Now that people are starting to
hear the facts and realizing that it's a form of genocide, they're starting to
Shelton began to work with the Director of the Archdiocesan Respect Life
Office, Rev. Mr. David B. Schaeffer, to explore ways to get this message out to
the black community. They formed a task force of about a dozen members that
eventually became Voices for Life.
"The task force is trying to achieve black awareness of the abortion problem in
the black community," said Jonathan Dalin, Coordinator of the Respect Life
Office. Dalin admits even he was shocked by the statistics. "I never even
considered abortion to be a black problem but it's looking to be an overwhelming
black problem. African Americans account for something like 13 percent of the
population of Pennsylvania, but abortion-wise, they make up almost 50 percent of
the abortion rate."
What was the best way to get this message out?
The task force settled on a video presentation based on a film entitled, "Black
Women Speak Out," which would be shown in parishes after Mass. "It would be a
limited group after Mass, in the back of the church, with coffee and donuts,
presenting this video to who ever was interested," Dalin said.
The first presentation took place in June, in honor of Abortion Awareness Month,
in St. Benedict Parish. Four representatives from Voices for Life, Pat Shelton,
Sylvia Royster, and Joan and Booker Poole, were ready to show their video
"The next thing we knew, the pastor, Father Moore, said he wanted us to talk to
the whole congregation," Shelton said. "He told me, 'It's a long walk between
the church over to the rectory for the meeting. People can get lost along the
Although they were not prepared to do so, the four task members went to the
podium and began to speak.
Pat Shelton was first, and presented statistics that precipitated a stunned
silence in the congregation. "They were in rapt attention. Many people came up
to me afterward and said they didn't understand the problem, they didn't know
the facts. It was very enlightening to them."
Next, Sylvia Royster, a catechist and member of St. Martin de Porres Parish,
spoke about Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood.
"Blacks don't realize what Sanger's motive was about," Royster said. "The whole
abortion issue ฏ the woman's right over her body
ฏ it's been blown way out of proportion in a negative
way. People don't realize the impact of what's happening. What it all turns out
to be is a form of extermination of the black race. Black communities are where
most of the abortion clinics are."
Royster was followed by Joan and Booker Poole, who spoke about the importance of
prayer in the fight against abortion, and in teaching youth the value of human
life before they face the opportunity to become sexually active. Joan Poole also
spoke about how the family can be a great place to begin training youngsters
about the issues of life.
"I was trying to get people to remember to love one another, especially within
the family," said Joan Poole. "And to try to get back this caring we used to
have for one another. I believe that love and caring and respect for life begins
in the family."
After making the congregation aware of the scope of the problem, the task
members went on to describe some of the alternatives available through Catholic
Social Services, such as pregnancy care centers and adoption agencies.
Congregants were given lists of homes throughout the area where women could
consider having their babies instead of resorting to abortion.
"This is one of the most exciting things in our community today
ฏ bringing this issue of life, opening eyes and
educating and evangelizing people," said Father Stephen Thorne, Director of the
Archdiocesan Office for Black Catholics. "The committee is growing. People
really want to get the message out to more parishes. One of our future goals is
to do a one-day conference on the issue of life in the black community and how
important it is. We know that in order to evangelize, we have to start by
changing hearts. The main thing is getting the message to people that all life
Statistics in this article were provided by the Pro-Life Union of Southeastern
Pennsylvania. For more information, call 215-885-8150 or contact the Respect
Life Office at 215-587-5661.
Reprinted with permission of The Catholic Standard & Times. To subscribe,