Southern Religion

Billboards and a drive to recriminalize abortion

Recently while declaring his willingness to eat nonhuman persons, Al Mohler showed that he knows what a species is. He certainly knows black children are not a separate species. Georgia billboards saying “Black Children are an Endangered Species” not withstanding. Though the view of blacks as a separate species, rather than human beings, is defended by people who affect white robes with pointed hoods. Not allies for the president of Southern Baptist Seminary, especially given the Southern Baptist Convention’s 1995 renunciation of its past stands in favor of segregation and slavery.

Yet Mohler does blog in ardent support the billboard campaign and its arguments, among them that Planned Parenthood is somehow applying views of eugenics once entertained by its founder, the late Margaret Sanger. Mohler seems to be unconcerned that applying the same guilt by historic association to the SBC he serves could put him among defenders of racial segregation. Ford Motor Co. could be worse tarred, given the late Henry Ford’s admiration for Adolph Hitler. Those are, however, three similarly false arguments.

The “endangered species” argument is also unsound as variously made. Black Americans as a group are not endangered the way that metaphor invites us to believe. Black fertility rates (live births per woman of childbearing age), like overall U.S. fertility rates, are projected to show a 2010 Census increase. The reverse of a decline in overall birth numbers. Not suggestive of ethnic cleansing. Nor coherent with the expressed fears of extermination.

It is still true that a relatively large number of black pregnancies end in abortion, just as Catherine Davis argues. The Centers for Disease Control reports that “57.4% of the abortions performed in Georgia in 2006 were performed on African-American women.” Whereas blacks compose 30% of Georgia’s population. Similarly, black women account for some 37% the nation’s abortions. Whereas just 13% of the population is black. Yet women seeking abortion are distinguished more by their poverty than by their race. They are mostly unmarried, most already have at least one child and are ending unintended pregnancies which probably resulted from a failure of or failure to properly use birth control.

Contributory factors are nonetheless not the decision. The controversial abortion numbers are the result of decisions black women make to have abortions. Decisions they are free to make. Decisions Mohler would deny them the legal right to make by criminalizing abortion, first by reversing Roe v Wade. Therein lies the freely expressed core purpose of this uproar: To end what Mohler calls “the scandal of abortion.”


March 9, 2010 - Posted by | Health, Law, Medical Care, Religion | , ,

1 Comment

  1. Why not go into the reasons african american women are choosing abortion more frequently? You ignore that Planned Parenthood has more clinics in predominately black urban communities around this country. Could it be that Planned Parenthood knows that if they provide the information on sex education, they can also determine the need for abortions in the community they serve? Sounds like consporacy, but based on planned parenthood’s many illegal actions in the past it would not surprise me. I’m not sure what Al Mohler’s being a meat eater has to do with his stance on abortion either.

    Comment by Clark Bates | March 9, 2010

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