Tuesday, May 13, 2008

the civil rights issue of the 21st century

Below is the speech given by Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at this year's March for Life in Ottawa. I wasn't there to hear it, though some good friends were, and they were kind enough to pass this on to me.


Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus Press Conference

MAY 8, 2008

First, I would like to say that I'm honored to have been invited to participate today by the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus. Canada is a great and welcoming country and I want to thank everyone involved for the graciousness and love they've shown to someone from south of the border… way south of the border.

But while I love being in this great nation, the circumstances of my visit today deeply sadden me. We are here to talk about the scourge of abortion.

We've had abortion on demand in the United States for 35 years; here you've had it for 20. In this time, abortion has trampled upon tens of millions to become the civil rights issue of the 21st Century.

Even though I was born into a pro-life family, I and my uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., fell victim to the lies of the pro-abortion movement, specifically, the largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood told my uncle, Dr. King, that they wanted to help build strong and healthy Negro families. They didn't tell him of their racist past or what would later amount to their genocidal, eugenic agenda of abortion when they gave him the Margaret Sanger Award in 1966. When Planned Parenthood lied to my uncle, abortion was still illegal in every state in the United States.

When Planned Parenthood lied to me, it was seven years later and Roe v. Wade had torn to shreds any legal protection for unborn babies. Planned Parenthood told me that my baby was just a blob of tissue – a lie; and that abortion would solve my problems – another lie.

I can tell you as a woman who aborted two of her own children, that there is nothing good that comes from abortion. I can tell you as the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the daughter of his brother, Rev. A. D. King, and the granddaughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr., all three men who put God and family first in their lives, that there is no justice in denying the most basic civil right, the right to life itself, to any innocent person.

That's the reality of "choice." Abortion doesn't just destroy a baby's life, which is horrible enough, it traumatizes families and communities. I've seen the disastrous results abortion has brought to my own African American community.

In the US, black women are three times as likely to have abortions as white women. While African Americans are about 12% of the population, we suffer 36% of the abortions. With about 14 million aborted black babies in the last 35 years, it's as devastating as if a plague came into the land and killed one of every four African Americans.

Abortionists in the US locate most of their clinics in minority neighborhoods. The largest abortion provider in the US, Planned Parenthood, was recently caught welcoming donations for the specific purpose of aborting only black babies.

Should we be surprised by any of this? Not when we realize that abortion and racism stem from the same flawed view of mankind – that some people are not fully human.

Many people once believed that the African American was a piece of property for his owner to abuse or discard however he saw fit. This lie cost hundreds of thousands of people their lives, nearly destroyed my nation and left scars that are still felt today.

My Uncle Martin and my father, Rev. A. D. King, died trying to heal those scars by fighting the battle for equal rights. I believe with all my heart that were they alive, they would be standing with me today because abortion is the civil rights issue of this generation.

We now treat unborn babies just like blacks were treated in the years of slavery and discrimination – like non-persons. Discrimination has become socially acceptable again because too many have convinced themselves again that certain people aren't people.

This convincing has taken some doing. We have to constantly tell ourselves that life doesn't begin at the beginning; that unborn babies aren't people, even though DNA and ultrasound tell us without a doubt that they are. Then we have to remind ourselves that the human being whose stem cells science so covets isn't really a human being. We have to believe these lies because the truth will make us uncomfortable and complicate our lives.

Discrimination is the tool we use to get comfortable by getting inconvenient people out of our lives.

Today, when we don't want an unborn baby around, we tell ourselves that it's OK to treat him as a sub-human because he's just a clump of cells. This is a particularly convenient attitude when we really want a boy child, but find out before she's born that we have a girl child. We can hide our discriminatory attitudes toward females behind our discriminatory attitudes toward the unborn. In fact, discrimination against the unborn can and has been used to justify discrimination against black babies, girl babies, and disabled babies.

Sex selection abortion, though, is something especially troubling right now. It gnaws at us. It's common practice in China and India, so much so that whole regions of those countries are experiencing shortages of girls. And it's becoming more and more common in North America.

Sex selection abortion's presence in our own backyards challenges the whole abortion mindset. Obviously, it's the killing of an unborn child on the basis of her gender. Because our societies so strongly believe that gender discrimination is wrong, this type of abortion immediately strikes us as unjust. Yet abortion itself is held by our judicial systems to be completely unobjectionable.

How can sex selection abortion be wrong, then, if all abortions are permissible and right?

The answer is that sex selection abortion is wrong because abortion itself is unjust. Our societies are suffering from a major disconnect in logic, a willful suspension of disbelief. If we thought about why sex selection abortion really bothers us, we'd have to face why abortion itself troubles us. And we don't want to do that because then we'd have to face the fact that we've been supporting a system that has brought death and destruction to a lot of innocent people. That's too painful, and so we maintain the discrimination and the pretense.

In short, we tell ourselves lies to try to justify what we know in our hearts is wrong. The problem is, when we lie about what abortion is, the physical and emotion reality remains. Babies die, mamas cry, and families struggle for ways to deal with grief for the people we're told didn't really exist. I know this and women all across Canada and the US know this.

What I want to say today is that the lies and the anguish have to stop. Our pasts are painful, and I know that the pain of abortion has swept across the Canadian nation for far too long. Now is the time for healing and reconciliation, a reconciliation born of love and respect for each other, especially those little ones we see only through ultrasound. Much wrong has happened, but we don't have to keep repeating the mistakes of the past.

My Uncle Martin said that the time is always ripe to do right. He also said that true peace is the presence of justice. I have a dream. My dream is for peace, in the womb, in our hearts, and in our halls of government. There is only one race, the human race, and we need to start living that reality if that peace is ever going to come.


Dr. Alveda C. King

Dr. Alveda C. King is the daughter of the late civil rights activist Rev. A. D. King and his wife Naomi Barber King and the niece of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She is the grateful mother of six children and is a doting grandmother.

Alveda is a former college professor, holding a Masters of Arts degree in Business Management from Central Michigan University. Her undergraduate studies in journalism and sociology helped her to become a published author, the most popular works being her best selling books Sons of Thunder: The King Family Legacy, and I Don't Want Your Man, I want My Own.

Alveda's Doctorate of Laws was conferred by Saint Anslem College. She has served on the boards and committees of numerous organizations including Coalition of African American Pastors and the Judeo-Christian Coalition for Constitutional Restoration. She also served in the Georgia State House of Representatives and is an accomplished actress and songwriter. She is a voice for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, speaking about her regret for her abortions.

During the years of the Civil Rights Movement, led by her Uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Alveda's family home was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama in the heat of the struggle. "Daddy's house was bombed, then in Louisville, Kentucky his church office was bombed. I was also jailed during the open housing movement," she recalls.

Alveda has continued her long-term work as a civil rights activist, speaking out on issues that face society today. "Perhaps the most compelling issue of all is the life of the unborn," Alveda says.



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