---- — In 1854, Abraham Lincoln confronted America’s first “pro-choice” U.S. senator, Stephen Douglas of Illinois, in a speech in Peoria.
“Choice” then was about slavery, not abortion.
Douglas had sponsored the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and addressed the sticky question of slavery in new territories entering the union. The Kansas-Nebraska Act resolved this by “choice:” Residents would vote to decide if slavery would be legal in their territory.
Lincoln, morally opposed to slavery, challenged Douglas’s “pro-choice” position. According to Douglas, said Lincoln, “the principle of the Nebraska bill was very old; that it originated when God made man and placed good and evil before him, allowing him to choose for himself, being responsible for the choice he should make.”
No, said Lincoln. “God did not place good and evil before man, telling him to make his choice. On the contrary, he did tell him there was one tree, of the fruit of which he should not eat, upon pain of certain death.”
Our constitution, conveyed by the nation’s founders 65 years before Lincoln spoke those words, circumvented the question of slavery, permitting the great paradox of a nation founded on the ideals of freedom, which allowed slavery.
The struggle for racial justice in America — whether fighting slavery or fighting for civil rights — has always been informed by absolute standards of right and wrong, of good and evil, which transcend even the cleverest human mind. Black history is testimony to where we wind up when those standards get lost.
Yet, once again, those standards have gotten lost. And, once again, black Americans are bearing the brunt of the cost of a nation that has lost its moral rudder as a result of wantonly legal and available abortion.
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, blacks accounted for 35.4 percent of abortions performed in 2009, despite representing, according to the 2010 census, just 13.6 percent of the U.S. population.
Let’s not be deluded that this is an accident.
Analysis of 2010 census data by an initiative called Protecting Black Life shows that 79 percent of Planned Parenthood abortion clinics are located within walking distance of minority neighborhoods: 62 percent within two miles of primarily black neighborhoods and 64 percent of Hispanic/Latino neighborhoods.
Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, systematically targets minority women for abortion.
Black unemployment and poverty rates are almost double the national averages. I suppose Planned Parenthood — with support from our president and $542 million in taxpayer funds — feels it is doing its part to solve this problem.
Star Parker is an author and president of CURE, Center for Urban Renewal and Education, in Washington, D.C. Reach her at www.urbancure.org.