Alveda King: Amid coronavirus and Black History Month, who will stand up for these lives?

on Feb12
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Black History Month this year follows on the heels of the deadliest month of the coronavirus pandemic. We have long known the virus is more often fatal to Blacks than Whites but new headlines scream of something insidious afoot as we begin to deal with the virus: Blacks are being vaccinated at lower rates than whites.  

Here’s why, according to Kaiser Health News, which commissioned the study that prompted the flurry of news stories: 

“African Americans are being left behind because of barriers stemming from structural racism, as well as a failure to address nuanced hesitancy and mistrust about the vaccines and the medical system overall.” 


So now let’s step out of the sociology class and see what’s really going on. 

Many Black people are wary of the medical establishment and history is replete with reasons why. The men in the Tuskegee Project were allowed to die terrible deaths while serving as unwitting guinea pigs in an experiment to determine the progression of syphilis. 

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Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger made no secret of her disdain for Blacks and hoped contraception would once and for all weed us out. 

From 1967 until 1978, thousands of Black women were used, without their knowledge, as test subjects for the long-acting contraceptive Depo Provera, which has serious and sometimes deadly side effects. 

Eugenics and genocide are as old as sin and Black people are right to be wary of a vaccine that’s being given first to senior citizens and Black Americans. Is this another attempt at social engineering? The question deserves to be raised. 

If there are continuing disparities in how Black and White people are treated by the medical system, it’s good to expose these differences, understand what’s causing them, and rectify the situation. No one would argue that. 

But let’s be comprehensive about this. Let’s tell the truth about the impact of legal abortion on the Black community in America. 

Black women make up about 14 percent of Americans yet they have 38 percent of the abortions. Let’s put that in real numbers. There are about 42 million Black Americans, and since 1973, an estimated 20 million Black babies have been put to death by abortion. I’m not a statistics person but that seems pretty shocking to me.  

Maybe now that we have a Black woman as vice president, the U.S. will begin to address the way abortion is impacting Black babies and mothers.

Where are the headlines? Where is the Twitter outrage? Has the woke mob nothing to say? 

Another story that has gone tragically underreported is that most of the women who die from “safe and legal” abortions are Black. 

I’d like to talk about the last hours of just three of these Black women whose names, chances are, you do not know. 

Tonya Reaves, 24, went to a Chicago-area Planned Parenthood in 2012 for a second-trimester abortion. Ten hours later, having undergone four abortion procedures and suffered a perforated uterus, Tonya was declared dead at a hospital.  

Cree Erwin-Sheppard, 24, went to a Planned Parenthood in Kalamazoo, Mich., for a first trimester abortion in 2014. Two days later she showed up at a hospital bleeding and in pain. The hospital concluded she had had an incomplete abortion and sent her home with pain meds and a suggestion that she contact Planned Parenthood after the long holiday weekend. She died July 4.  

Keisha Atkins, 23, was six months pregnant when she was accepted for an abortion at Southwestern Women’s Options in Albuquerque in 2017. Her baby girl, whom she had named Mavis, was killed by a shot to the heart on the first day, but it would be several days, Keisha was told, before her cervix would be dilated enough to expel her dead daughter.

In pain and having trouble breathing, Keisha called the abortion mill late on the second day and was told not to call 911 but to come in first thing in the morning. She arrived at 6:45 a.m. with a high fever. More than nine hours later, with her symptoms worsening, she was transferred to the hospital. At 12:10 a.m. the next day, Feb. 4, she was declared dead. 

Where is Black Lives Matter on this? Who will lead a #SayHerName campaign for Tonya and Cree and Keisha? 

Maybe now that we have a Black woman as vice president, the U.S. will begin to address the way abortion is impacting Black babies and mothers. But don’t bet the family farm on it. 


When confronted with incontrovertible evidence that Planned Parenthood, the nation’s number one abortion seller, was allowing its abortionists to change the way they kill babies to preserve lucrative organs, and very likely profiting from the sale of these baby parts, Kamala Harris, then California’s attorney general, did not go after the organization.

But after Harris went to the U.S. Senate, the state did go after the people who exposed the injustice. David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt are still facing possible prison terms and millions of dollars in fines, while Planned Parenthood continues to kill babies, maim women and collect our tax money. 

Black History Month gives us a teaching tool to highlight the achievements of Blacks and to examine the disparities that still exist, and that’s important. But in a way it misses the point of what I fervently believe, and what I wrote about with Ginger Howard in our book, “We’re Not Colorblind”:


We are all one blood, one race, as Acts 17:26 makes clear. “He hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth.” 

Black lives matter. Black mothers’ lives matter. Black unborn lives matter. All lives matter. 


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