Interestingly, as the rate and actual incidence of abortion are steadily decreasing in the U.S.A., overt violence aimed at stopping the practice altogether has increased. According to recent statistics collected from CDC (Centers for Disease Control) data and other sources, there were 1.21 million abortions performed in 2008; 1.02 million in 2012; 983,000 in 2013; and 977,000 in 2014. Between 2000 and 2009, there has been an overall 6 percent reduction in the number of abortions performed nationally.
Unmarried women accounted for more than 85 percent of abortions in the USA, as raising a child has become a more and more expensive process. Black women represent the highest percentage of those having abortions, including 3.6 times the rate of White women.
Planned Parenthood and other facilitators of the procedure, have been relatively aggressive about recruiting Black women, in particular, to have abortions. It remains a part of a larger, sustained public policy to tamp down the African American population in the USA—never genocide, but clearly a successful effort at the controlled growth of the African American population, the better to escape the fear of a ‘dominating Black horde’ overtaking the country.
Couple all that with the stats like 2015’s largest rise in recorded history of anti-abortion violence. Blockades and barricades of abortion clinics almost doubled during the year, while arson and bomb threats quadrupled. Acts of vandalism against buildings and patients went up fivefold, while threats of bodily harm against both physicians, staff and patients seeking abortion increased more than 94 times. During 2015, a man proclaiming himself the God-designated protector of the unborn ambushed and killed a police officer and two civilians in a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic. He is awaiting trial.
A large part of this new upsurge of violence has been linked to the viral video visuals of bogus Planned Parenthood staff selling fetal tissue supposedly from aborted babies. The whole “expose’ has recently been debunked, and the coordinator and producer of the videos, one David Daleiden, has just been indicted for fraud and conspiracy connected to that hoaxed footage.
The point is, what does all this forebode for African Americans? Politically speaking, a significant decrease in our numbers promises lessened clout in public policy. Sure, we’ve done okay in terms of maintaining, even slightly increasing, the numbers of our Black elected officials. The Congressional Black Caucus now stands at 46, with one Black U.S. Senator—South Carolina’s Tim Scott—refusing to join. Corey Booker, the only other African American U.S. Senator (New Jersey), is a very active member. In California, the Legislative Black Caucus membership (assemblypersons and state senators) currently is 12. That’s the largest number in modern California history. The Honorable Isadore Hall is running for a U.S. congressional seat in June this year, so the number may be reduced to 11 members.
The overall population numbers are not enough to create a Black political party, as some have repeatedly called for, and the African American populace will still have to move forward with significant help from allies with other interests. Latinos, on the other hand, continue moving forward with a ‘let’s keep increasing the numbers’ agenda which will eventually displace Black folk residentially and politically.
Abortion has been a viable answer for some in personal situations, but it has undermined the strength of a sustained Black political voice in the USA. Excellent political organization has been the go-to alternative thus far, but one has to wonder how long that will work.
After the recent remembrance of the assassination of Dr. M.L. King, and the hundreds, even thousands, of young, unarmed Black men and women killed by police, it seems logical that rather than remaining the perpetual victims in the abortion issue nationally and state-wide, African Americans must now speak up and be heard in this discussion. The future of Black people is at stake.
Professor David L. Horne is founder and executive director of PAPPEI, the Pan African Public Policy and Ethical Institute, which is a new 501(c)(3) pending community-based organization or non-governmental organization (NGO). It is the stepparent organization for the California Black Think Tank which still operates and which meets every fourth Frida