Talk About Disparate Impact

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Jun 24, 2008 10:12 PM
In a piece about the racist, eugenic beliefs of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, Jonah Goldberg brings to light some little-noted facts:

Abortion ends more black lives than heart disease, cancer, accidents, AIDS, and violent crime combined. African Americans constitute little more than 12 percent of the population but have more than a third (37 percent) of abortions. That rate has held relatively constant, though in some regions the numbers are much starker; in Mississippi, black women receive some 72 percent of all abortions, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Nationwide, 512 out of every 1,000 black pregnancies end in an abortion. Revealingly enough, roughly 80 percent of Planned Parenthood’s abortion centers are in or near minority communities.

It's remarkable that Barack Obama, who identifies himself as an African America, is such a vocal proponent of abortion rights given their disparate impact (and intent for that matter).  According to this account of his 2007 speech to Planned Parenthood

The senator said he had a long tradition of support for legalized abortion, citing his efforts in the Illinois State Senate and his classes as a law professor. 

True enough.  In the Illinois State Senate, he opposed the Born Alive Infant Protection Act -- and through his career, has staked out stands firmly to the left of NARAL, as our own Amanda Carpenter notes here.  As for the law professor part, it's not clear how teaching Roe v. Wade constitutes supporting abortion rights -- at least if one does so evenhandedly -- but I s'pose if that's all the experience you have, you gotta throw it in there.