My article from Tuesday’s Headline Bistro.
History was made in New York City on Monday night, a city that has aborted over 4.3 million babies since 1970, some 3.3 million of them black and Hispanic. Led by Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., members of the National Black Pro-life Leadership team came to New York from around the country to rouse this city and its pastors in a call to action.
The rally, hosted by Pastor Bill Devlin and his Manhattan Bible Church on W. 205 Street and 9th Avenue in Manhattan, was instructive on many different levels. After opening in prayer with Pastor Michel Faulkner, the founding pastor of New Horizon Church, Harlem, the attendees were roused by a short talk delivered by Rev. Patrick Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition.
Then came my presentation of the statistics in New York City, which are shocking and appalling. The 2008 Vital Statistics data set reveals that blacks and Hispanics have a combined 79 percent of all abortions in New York City, a number that is remarkably consistent over the dozen or so years for which numbers by race and ethnicity have been recorded. NYC’s annual number of abortions has been hovering between 88,000 and 92,000 for years.
In numbers of abortions per 1,000 live births, whites had 512, Hispanics had 867, and blacks had 1,260.
Yes, 1,260 abortions for every 1,000 babies born alive in the African-American community. Yet as appalling as that number is, one year later in 2009, it would get even worse. In the 2009 data, just released last week, blacks aborted 59.8% of their pregnancies. That’s three abortions for every two live births, or 1,500 abortions per 1,000 live births. This in a community that represents 12.3 percent of the U.S. population.
Planned Parenthood operates 78 percent of its abortion “clinics” in the inner city. Seventy-nine percent of New York’s abortion victims are black and Hispanic, and so the leaders came to rouse their fellow pastors to action. These included:
Dr. Alveda King, Director of African-American Outreach, Priests for Life
Bishop Roderick Caesar, Bethel Gospel Tabernacle
Pastor Stephen Broden, of LEARN
Rev. Clenard Childress, or LEARN
Rev. Dr. La Verne Tolbert, Former NYC Planned Parenthood Board Member
Rev. Walter Hoye, of Personhood USA
Rev. Arnold Culbreath, of Life Issues Institute
Rev. Catherine Davis, Network of Politically Active Christians
Chaplain Viviana Hernandez, United Chaplains, State of New York
Fr. Richard Gill, Saint Barnabas Parish, Bronx
Speaking too were New York City Councilman Chris Halloran and Chris Slattery of Expectant Mother Care Pregnancy Centers.
In two and half hours we covered the statistics, the reality of black and Hispanic genocide occurring right under our noses, the pending bill in the New York City Council intended to cripple pregnancy resource centers, and the call to action in order to defeat this bill.
The night moved even beyond the immediacy of defeating the bill and began the work of building within the Protestant churches a vibrant and dynamic pro-life community. Bishop Roderick Caesar was chosen by acclaim and prayed over as the leader of this new community, with the pledge of the national black leaders to return, participate in conference calls and lend the support of their organizations. Those of us who spoke were asked by local pastors to come and speak to their congregations.
Truth has that effect on people. Once spoken with clarity and conviction, it is irrepressible. Welcome to the New Civil Rights movement. Dr. King admonished the audience of mostly blacks and Hispanics not to take away the wrong message, not to leave distrusting whites, but to take note of the solidarity of the blacks, Hispanics, and Caucasians gathered together to defeat this bill in the City Council – and to dismantle the abortion industry in this city.
There was yet another lesson that night. Back in early December, it occurred to me that the national leadership team was active, very active, but not in New York. It also became apparent that it would have to be the national team to come in and spark the fire within the black and Hispanic communities. So, I picked up the phone and called Dr. King. She and her team had been discussing the need to come to New York, and the phone call was their affirmation of prayer. The lesson was that humility yields abundant fruit. We’re not meant to go it alone, and as the Body of Christ, we are supposed to work in union and harmony.
Dr. King set that tone. Though she was invited to be the keynote speaker, she divided the time equally among her team and gave every one of them an equal share in her time. There were no superstars that night, only an all-star team of leaders from around the nation, each with their own ministry, each offering their assistance. This is the paradigm that will help to end abortion in this nation – that of cooperation between pro-lifers, the sharing of resources, and the commitment to see it through to the end. Together.
This week, history was made. The sleeping giant of the inner city was aroused from its slumber, and the abortion industry will be put to flight. There is no other choice, as African-Americans cannot sustain these genocidal numbers for another forty years.