NRL News

The devastating impact of abortion on the Black community is too great for this “pro-choice” woman to ignore

by | Jun 1, 2021

By Dave Andrusko

Sometimes, no matter how wedded to “choice” someone may be, reality peeks its way through the clouds of slogans, disinformation, and illogic.

Enter Getty Israel, a Black woman, whose op-ed for the [Jackson, Mississippi] Clarion Ledger is headlined, “Abortion Rate disparities: I’m pro-choice but I can’t ignore statistics.”

Israel, founder and executive director of Sisters in Birth Inc., located  in Jackson, straightforwardly establishes her thesis in her initial sentence:

Pro-choice people like me often decry the rates of premature births and infant mortality among Black babies while remaining silent about the abortion rate disparities among Black women. 

Later while affirming her “pro-choice” credentials

Black women should maintain their constitutional right to decide when to carry a pregnancy to term. 

she immediately adds this

However, I would be remiss to continue ignoring the disproportionately high abortion rates among my group, which I believe is inevitably detrimental to us as a people

The entire essay provides the kind of specifics that flesh out the truth that every pro-lifer knows: Black women have a very, very disproportionately large number of abortions. Here are just a few specifics from Ms. Israel. (All underlining is mine.]

*Even though Black women represent a smaller proportion of Mississippi’s population, their average five-year (2015-2019) pregnancy rate is 11% higher than that of white women, according to statistics from the Mississippi State Department of Health. Consequently, the live birth rate of Black babies is equal to that of white babies in the state because so many Black pregnancies are aborted.

There were over 97,909 pregnancies among Black women during the period; 17% of those pregnancies (16,696) were aborted. In the present Black Lives Matter era, there is no better benchmark to measure the value of Black lives.

** Black women are far less likely to cohabitate or be married during pregnancy and birth. …  Among married women, the five-year average pregnancy and live birth rates of white women is three times higher than that of Black women. Conversely, the five-year average abortion and fetal death (death of the fetus that occurs at a minimum of 20 weeks gestation) rates among single Black women is twice that of single white women.

As the above quotes suggest, Israel will talk about the critical role of men in whether a pregnancy—a baby—is carried to term.

*** Since Sisters in Birth began offering prenatal services in Mississippi, I have engaged many pregnant Black women, some of whom were contemplating abortion and whose minds I was able to change. I learned that most are working one or two low-paying service jobs. Nearly none of them have the support of a husband or the child’s father, which is the top reason they contemplate an abortion.   

Her conclusion—“In addition to reducing premature births and infant mortality rates, Sisters in Birth will focus on reducing abortion rates among Black women within its new women’s health clinic, opening in Jackson in June”—is that 

Our mission is neither political nor religious; it’s public health.

Categories: Abortion