Kelley Beaucar Vlahos, Fox News, April 24, 2008
The Planned Parenthood Federation of America has perpetuated a “genocide on the black community,” says a group of African-American pastors who claimed Thursday the birth control and abortion provider has had a racist agenda since its beginnings in 1921.
“Every day . . . over 1,500 black babies are murdered inside the black woman’s womb,” said Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, of Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny (BOND). “This is a race issue.”
The pastors urged Congress to initiate an audit of the organization and have written letters demanding that money for Planned Parenthood be eliminated from federal Title X funding, of which the group got $65 million for fiscal year 2007, according to pro-life Concerned Women of America. In total, Planned Parenthood received $300 million in government contracts and grants in the current fiscal year.
The national office of Planned Parenthood provided FOX News with a lengthy statement on Thursday in which it said its role in the African-American community is widespread because the need is greater.
“The (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) revealed that a shocking number of teenage African-American girls—nearly half—carry a sexually transmitted infection,” reads the statement. “This compares to an overall average rate for all teenage girls of at least one in four.
“The largest increases in the teen birthrate were reported for non-Hispanic black teens, whose overall rate rose five percent in 2006. In addition, African-American women are more likely to die of breast cancer than the general population,” it said.
That is part of a troubling trend, say critics, who accuse Planned Parenthood of targeting minority neighborhoods. They blame the institution for a disproportionate rate of abortions among black women.
According to a report released by the group of Students for Life America on Tuesday, black women are 4.8 times more likely to have an abortion than white women, while the black population in the U.S. is in decline. Black women account for 36 percent of those having abortions in the U.S. today, according to group, while black children make up 17 percent of live births.
In its response, Planned Parenthood emphasized that 97 percent of its services are focused on providing contraceptives, breast and cervical cancer screenings and sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment—not abortions.
“Those services are more important than ever as this country faces a health care crisis—too many women can’t afford birth control, too many families don’t have adequate health insurance coverage and too many young people are faced with unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections,” the organization said. “As a safety-net provider, it is Planned Parenthood’s mission to provide women, men and teens with affordable access to reproductive health care services and information, regardless of income.”