For the last few decades, evangelicals repeatedly have mobilized and demonstrated to oppose the operation of abortion clinics. Over the years, many have believed that being anti-abortion had become a litmus test for their support of politicians and policies, which vie for evangelical votes.
Last Thursday I joined 60 African Americans from around the country. We descended upon both the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) offices in Washington, DC. This group asked for Planned Parenthood to be defunded. We cited three reasons for the defunding:
1. numerous accusations of under-aged girls receiving unauthorized abortions,
2. alleged cover-ups of sexual abuse of minors, and
3. racial targeting of African Americans by PPFA.
As I approached the demonstration point last week, I couldn’t help remembering a continuing education class I had taken over a decade ago. A local director of a Planned Parenthood Center held back tears as she described the bombing of abortion clinics and her concern for people under her safety. I was deeply moved by this story and I was appalled by the fact that terrorists had committed violent acts against abortion clinic workers and physicians. This kind of terrorism should be legally prosecuted and never tolerated. Conversely, illegal or unethical practices by those who perform abortions should never be tolerated either.
I couldn’t help but think that the nation needs to find a way so that no one’s daughter has to consider having an abortion because of poverty, lack of adoption options, or other factors of this nature. Like many of my peers, I wish this battle would end. Yet, all sixty of last Thursday’s participants believe that it is especially important that African Americans stand up at this unique time in history. We cannot remain silent and ignore the increasing number of African-American children who are dying needlessly at the hands of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.
On Thursday, we also gathered to speak out against Planned Parenthood because of its blatant disregard for the law. Let me recap some of the legal accusations that have been levied against PPFA.
1. In Kansas the organization is under criminal investigation for falsifying documents and performing late term abortions. It faces 23 felony counts.
2. Planned Parenthood has also dealt in the realm of deception concerning the age of its customers. In Ohio, Planned Parenthood is being sued for failing to report the rape of a 16-year-old by her father. This is not the first time that center leaders have tried to bend the age-related reporting requirement.
Bishop Harry Jackson is chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, MD, and co-authored, Personal Faith, Public Policy [FrontLine; March 2008] with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.