In mid-October, I drove from my home in North Carolina to attend a board meeting of UMAction— the United Methodist desk at the Institute on Religion and Democracy in Washington, DC. The night before the meeting, I bunked as usual at a Motel 6 located a mile north of Union Station near New York Avenue NE. There one can enjoy smoking a little pipe tobacco without fearing arrest.
Having some time to spare, I decided to walk to the United Methodist Building on Capitol Hill. On the hike to the Hill, I passed a fairly new Planned Parenthood facility on 4th Street NE. Its official name is the Carol Whitehill Moses Center.
Striding alongside the building, I noticed a large official Black Lives Matter (BLM) banner prominently displayed out front. Also advertised there were conditions for which Planned Parenthood could provide treatment: “Headaches & Migraines • Anxiety & Depression • Asthma • Flu & Colds • Diabetes • High Blood Pressure • Vaccines & More!”
The BLM banner signals ideological virtue—people seeking medical care of any kind at the Planned Parenthood facility will find (and never forget) that they are among friends. By broadcasting “diversity,” the BLM banner attracts and puts prospective patients at ease.
At the same time, the long list of medical conditions the facility advertises acts as a coverup. Sure, treatment for all of these might be provided within its doors. Even so, this facility’s reason for being is probably contained in the catch-all word “more,” which appears at the very end of that list. The word “more” likely suggests that herein abortion is on offer. After all, Planned Parenthood Federation of America is Big Abortion—it performs more abortions in this country than any other provider. So when Planned Parenthood promises a medical “more” to potential patients, most of them, reading between and behind the lines, get the message. They know that “more” means abortion services.
Planned Parenthood boasts that it believes “Black Lives Matter.” At the same time, unborn children—black and white and otherwise—are aborted there. So, Planned Parenthood says one thing—“Black Lives Matter”—and does another—aborts black children and in doing so harms their mothers in many ways.
Planned Parenthood’s hypocrisy is reflected in well-known statistics. According to the CDC’s “Abortion Surveillance—United States, 2018,” a total of 614,820 abortions were reported for that year. The overall abortion rate was 11.3 abortions per 1,000 women, and the overall abortion ratio was 189 abortions per 1,000 live births. Among the 31 locales that reported “race/ethnicity” data for 2018, white women accounted for 38.7 percent of all abortions and black women for 33.6 percent (though Blacks are only 13 percent of the US population). Regarding the abortion rate, there were 6.3 abortions per 1,000 white women, and 21.2 abortions per 1,000 black women. Regarding the abortion ratio, there were 110 abortions per 1,000 live births to white women, and 335 abortions per 1,000 live births to black women. In 2018, approximately 652 white children and 566 black children were aborted each day.
The sign on the Planned Parenthood facility is true. Black lives really do matter. That moral claim, that cry for justice, includes black unborn children and their mothers. White lives really do
matter. That moral claim, that cry for justice, includes white unborn children and their mothers. And likewise for all unborn children.
All lives, regardless of race and ethnicity, really do matter. Very young lives, hidden in the womb of their mothers, are not devalued by their age. If anything, their tender age beckons for
additional protection, for greater justice.
If Planned Parenthood is going to boast that “Black Lives Matter,” it should act like it. Otherwise replace that banner with another one reading “Abortions Performed Here.”