Birmingham, AL -- Nearly 50 years ago, blacks and whites marched on Birmingham, Alabama, to protest the city's segregation laws. It was the beginning of the modern Civil Rights movement. In less than two weeks, blacks and whites will again march on Birmingham -- this time for the most fundamental of all civil rights, the right to life.
Beginning on October 12, black pastors and pro-life leaders in Birmingham will lead others on a three-day march through the city to bring attention to the disproportionate number of black babies aborted every day. The nation's largest black pro-life organization, Life Education and Resource Network (LEARN), is hosting the march. Its theme is "Say So," as in "If you love the children, say so!"
"More black babies are killed in a three-day period by abortion than were ever lynched in the history of America," said Damon Owens, LEARN's national spokesman.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's December 2000 report, black women account for 36 percent of all abortions performed, even though blacks represent 12 percent of the population.
In 1996, the Alan Guttmacher Institute (Planned Parenthood's research arm) reported: "Blacks, who make up 14 percent of all childbearing women, have 31 percent of all abortions and whites, who account for 81 percent of women of childbearing age, have 61 percent."
"Abortion is the number-one killer of blacks," said the Rev. Johnny Hunter, LEARN's national director in North Carolina. said. "We're losing our people at the rate of 1,452 a day. That's just pure genocide. Sanger's influence and the whole mindset Planned Parenthood has brought into the black community say it's okay to destroy your people. We bought into the lie."
Hunter and leaders from other chapters of LEARN, including Pastor Clenard Childress (director of LEARN New Jersey) and Elder Ceasar LeFlore (of LEARN Chicago), are bolstering the march on Birmingham. Star Parker, founder of the Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education, is expected to deliver the keynote address. Participants include adults who, as children, participated in the Civil Rights struggle nearly a half century ago in Birmingham.