Alarming Disparity: Black Leaders Call Out Targeting of Minority Neighborhoods by Abortion Clinics

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  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 10/04/2023
In Ohio, a group of black pastors is uniting with other faith leaders to oppose an abortion rights amendment scheduled for the state's November ballot. These pastors strongly believe that this issue is a matter of life or death.

In a recent open letter, 110 Black religious and community figures drew attention to a report released by the Ohio Department of Health. The report revealed a concerning statistic: 48% of induced abortions in the year 2022 were performed on Black women. The Black population in the state accounts for only 13% of the total population.

The leading cause of death among humans is often referred to as the number one killer. According to a recent video shared by the pro-life organization Protect Women Ohio, Bishop Patrick L. Wooden Sr. made a statement clarifying that the individuals in question are not affiliated with the police. Abortion refers to the termination of a pregnancy, typically through the removal of the embryo or fetus from the uterus.


One month prior to Ohio voters making a decision on Issue 1, a significant message has been delivered. This message is aimed at highlighting the importance of the upcoming vote, which will determine whether abortion rights will be added to the state constitution. Issue 1 represents the latest effort by the pro-choice movement to eliminate restrictions on abortion access following the landmark Supreme Court case, Roe v. Wade.

According to Brian Williams, pastor of the Hope City House of Prayer in Columbus, the voting on Issue 1 is not based on party lines. He emphasizes that this issue does not belong exclusively to either Republicans or Democrats. Williams made these statements while reading an open letter in a video that was posted on Wednesday. The matter at hand is a moral issue, one that holds significant importance for the Black community, as it directly relates to matters of life and death.

During a speech delivered at the Columbus Christian Center, Bishop Wooden, the leader of the Upper Room Church of God in Christ in Raleigh, North Carolina, expressed concerns about the potential extinction of his community.

Issue 1 pertains to the prevention of the state's ability to impose limitations on abortion prior to the point of viability, which typically occurs around 24 weeks of gestation. Subsequently, it grants the authority to the physician to determine whether to approve an abortion after viability.

According to Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom, the purpose of the amendment is to ensure that individuals have access to abortion without any interference from the government. Additionally, the amendment aims to prevent the implementation of restrictive measures that are considered excessively harsh or severe. According to pro-life groups, the proposed measure would grant abortion doctors significant authority in determining whether to carry out abortions.

It is widely acknowledged by both sides of the abortion debate that Black women are disproportionately represented among those who undergo the procedure. According to the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-choice organization, a significant disparity exists between the abortion rates of Black women and White women in the United States. In 2008, the institute reported that the abortion rate for Black women was nearly five times higher than that of White women.

The Black faith leaders expressed their concerns in a letter, asserting that abortion providers deliberately choose to establish clinics in minority neighborhoods. They supported their claim by referencing the pro-eugenics beliefs held by Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood.

The letter expressed a hopeful desire for the abortion industry to be held responsible for its past actions and the negative consequences it has left behind. It emphasized the importance of not allowing the industry to perpetuate an agenda motivated by racism and greed. Issue 1, unfortunately, accomplishes exactly that.

During the peak of the Black Lives Matter protests in July 2020, Planned Parenthood, which is recognized as the largest abortion provider in the United States, publicly disavowed the eugenicist beliefs held by its founder, Margaret Sanger. In doing so, the organization explicitly denied any involvement in promoting what has been referred to as "Black genocide."

In its 2020 statement, Planned Parenthood North Central States expressed its commitment to empowering individuals in taking charge of their own lives and shaping their own futures. Autonomy holds significant significance, particularly for individuals belonging to the Black community and other people of color within the United States. These individuals encounter structural racism, which manifests in various forms, such as obstacles to sexual and reproductive freedom and limited access to healthcare services.

In 2022, the data from Ohio revealed that a higher percentage of abortions were obtained by Black women compared to White women. Specifically, Black women accounted for 48.4% of the total number of abortions, while White women accounted for 43.1%. The state's population is predominantly composed of white residents, accounting for 81% of the total population.

Abortion rates among individuals belonging to racial categories such as American Indian, Asian/Pacific Islander, and multiracial backgrounds were found to be less than 10% when combined.

Issue 1 has garnered opposition from a coalition of religious leaders and faith-based groups, including the Black pastors, conservative religious leaders, the Catholic Conference of Ohio, the Catholic Bishops of Ohio, and the Center for Christian Virtue. The Center for Christian Virtue is particularly noteworthy as it is the largest Christian public policy organization in the state.

Issue 1 is being supported by several liberal faith communities, such as the United Church of Christ, Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio, and the Greater Cincinnati Board of Rabbis.

Psalm 139:13-14 was referenced by Mr. Williams, wherein it states, "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb."

He stated that their faith provides them with daily support, and now it should motivate them to oppose this amendment in order to protect numerous Black lives. The objective at hand is to convey a strong message to the abortion industry by taking action to halt the progression of Issue 1. The imperative lies in putting an end to the practice of singling out Black babies for harm, while simultaneously fostering a societal environment that values and protects all lives.

Ohio's Issue 1, a proposed measure that aims to ensure access to contraception, is set to be included on the state ballot on November 7th. This initiative will be accompanied by another proposal seeking to legalize marijuana in Ohio. In-person voting for the upcoming election will commence on October 11th.


In August, voters defeated a ballot measure also called Issue 1 that would have required a 60% majority to amend the state constitution, handing a win to pro-choice groups ahead of the abortion-rights ballot fight.

Ohio currently allows abortion up until 21 weeks and six days gestation and then afterward to save the woman’s life or protect her from serious physical harm. A heartbeat bill signed by the governor in 2019, which would ban most abortions after 6-8 weeks gestation, is pending in the courts


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