Abortion ruling a reminder that civil rights begin in the womb

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As the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I had the honor of growing up in a family with a vibrant history of defending civil rights. As we all know, my uncle played a key role in ensuring equal rights for all of God’s children — no matter their skin tone. 

But today, the new civil rights struggle of our time is for “womb equality” and the right to life for the unborn children who are aborted each year. In his “I Have a Dream” speech, my uncle famously said that “my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”  

But this assumes that the unborn children are first given the chance to live at all. As such, every American must face the reality that civil rights begin in the womb; as long as a baby can be legally killed before birth, there is no such thing as civil rights.  


Our Declaration of Independence states that “all men are created equal” and “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” including “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” America’s Founding Fathers listed life as the first right because it is foundational to all the others — they understood that without securing the right to life, no other rights could ever be possible.  

Abortion demonstrators protest outside of the U.S. Supreme Court, Monday, May 16, 2022, in Washington, D.C.
(AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

Unfortunately, in America today, that most fundamental right to life has been non-existent for nearly 50 years since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. Since that fateful decision, more than 63 million babies have been aborted in the United States — a stain on our moral conscience and a tragedy that we allowed to happen in our Nation.  

Another tragedy is that those who so often claim to act in defense of “civil rights” for minority communities remain conspicuously silent about the disparate effect abortion has on the Black community. For example, in our country today, Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers are the leading killers of Black lives. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 629,898 babies were aborted in 2019 — the most recent year data is available. Of those aborted babies, roughly 38.4% or 241,881 were Black. Over the course of a year, that means about 663 Black babies are aborted every single day. 

That’s why any true discussion about civil rights in America today must center around abortion. Nothing has wreaked havoc on the Black community and destroyed Black lives like the abortion industry.  

This is an injustice against the civil rights of the least among us. A baby in the womb, no matter their skin color, is a child to be protected rather than a “choice” to be made. I have said it before — I firmly believe that abortion is not healthcare. It is deathcare. Every life has infinite value because we are all made in the image and likeness of God. 

Now, as the pro-life movement eagerly awaits the Dobbs decision, we understand that this won’t ban abortion outright — it will merely return abortion to the states and allow the people to make their voices known through their political representatives. We know that liberal leaders will attempt to push more states to allow abortion up to the moment of birth — a truly radical position. And we also know that pro-life resource centers will play an elevated role in the days ahead.  


But we as a movement are ready for this new challenge. Today, there are about 2,700 Pregnancy Resource Centers that span the country and offer counseling, mentorship, financial resources, medical assistance, and more to vulnerable women in need. These resource centers, which affirm life and provide real healthcare and a variety of options to women, outnumber Planned Parenthood clinics by a ratio of 4-to-1.  

At its core, the pro-life movement is a movement of compassion: compassion for the unborn baby, compassion for the mother, and compassion for the father. These volunteers who offer up their time, talent, and treasure to uplift the most vulnerable are motivated by a spirit of compassion for their fellow man. 


In his famed address, my uncle also said that “now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.” Now is our time to stand up for all God’s children, from womb to tomb, because we are all made in the image and likeness of our Creator. 

The simple fact is that our Founders struggled to secure civil rights and the American Dream for all of us to enjoy as the one blood human race. Then we must all ask ourselves: How can the American Dream survive if we murder our children? 


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