Lost among the problems of drug use and violence, abortion claims the lives of a thousand black children a day .

Black politicians, community leaders and people from the entertainment industry met last year for an anti-violence summit meeting in Washington D.C.

They were there to discuss the growing violence and despair in their community and search for ways to rediscover the value of human life.

One woman who was at the summit left feeling a key part of the puzzle hadn’t even been discussed. As well-meaning as the sentiments discussed were, they were ultimately doomed to failure.

“Although noble in its efforts, the summit did not address an important aspect of violence – violence in the womb,” wrote Akua Furlow, a black leader in the pro-life movement in America, commenting afterwards. She is the author of the recently published Abortion and the African-American – A Deadly Silence.

Many blacks, like Furlow, say they are witnessing a genocide of their own people. It is leading to the decay in their religion, the further scattering of their families and the death of their culture. All the well-intentioned summits in the world will do nothing until one of the key sources of violence is addressed.

“The future of African-Americans is surely endangered as never before in history,” she says. “Violence and other social ills facing our communities will continue as long as we do not also seek to protect the lives of our unborn.”

Many black leaders, most notably Rev. Jessie Jackson, abandoned their pro-life beliefs when they joined the politician mainstream.

Furlow writes about the “unholy alliances” which black leaders make with “groups who insist on cloaking their liberalized racism in ‘reproductive freedom.’”

Despite widespread opposition to abortion within the black community, the abortion rate for black women is two to three times that of whites. Women like Furlow are saddened when other blacks join middle-class liberals who see abortion as a solution.

A study in May 1991 conducted by the Wirthlin Group found 34 per cent of whites in America and 53 per cent of blacks consider themselves pro-life. Sixty-five per cent of blacks favoured amending the constitution to protect unborn children and 64 per cent oppose public funds for abortions.

Meanwhile, it has been estimated that 10 million black lives have been lost to abortion since 1973 and that the black community would be 35 per cent larger than it is now if it hadn’t been for abortion.

The high abortion rate, as well as decimating the community, fosters many of the social ills which grab the headlines related to the prevalence of abortion. Family violence increases, he says, as does drug use. Physical and sexual abuse is more prevalent. Some studies suggest black women lose their religious affiliation after having an abortion and other support groups become irrelevant to them.

The answer is not simple, Strahan says. It involves “extensive educational and social services” so that mothers and their children are not trapped in poverty.

Most of all, the answer has to do with a return to the values which made the black communities great.

Leaders speak

Rev. Jessie Jackson

“Human beings cannot give or create life by themselves, it is really a gift from God. Therefore, one does not have the right to take away through abortion that which he does not have the ability to give.”

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?; expediency asks the question ‘Is it politic?’; vanity asks the question ‘Is it popular?’; but conscience asks the question ‘Is it right?’ and there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but because conscience tells one it is right.”

Erma Clardy Craven,
Author of “Abortion, Poverty and Black Genocide.”

“Prejudice and poverty has kept the Black family in a powerless state. Now the womb of the Black woman is seen as the latest battle ground for oppression. This deliberate killing of Black babies in abortion is genocide, the most overt form of all. As a Black Protestant social worker of 40 years experience in poor communities, I am calling for immediate halt to this genocide.”