African American Babies:Endangered Species?

Since Roe vs. Wade, abortion has been one of those hot button topics in our church and society. And it is usually the case that whenever abortion is discussed it is spoken of as an issue of choice, reproductive rights or the right to life. But the “Endangered Species” campaign seeks to address the historical […]

May 2010 : Featured Post

On a monthly basis, will be featuring a thought-provoking essay that is designed to provoke healthy dialouge and a collective resolve to seek the face of God for answers of some of the most pressing issues of our age.

Your participation and feedback is very important to us and we encourage you to leave your comments, facebook or tweet this post after reading.



As I was riding through a neighborhood in Decatur, GA, this billboard with the precious piercing eyes of a beautiful black baby, stating that “Black Children are an Endangered Species” jumped out at me.

I tried not to stop traffic by staring up at this picture for too long but my mind could not quite connect this beautiful babies’ face with this label. I usually think of buffalos and whales when I think of endangered species not little black babies. So I hurriedly reached for a pen and a scrap of paper out of my purse and scribbled down the website  And so began my search for the connection.

African-Americans and Abortion

In an effort to stop the rate of abortions in the African American community, which is estimated to be 40% of all African American pregnancies, the Radiance Foundation and GA Operation Outrage have begun the “Endangered Species” campaign in order to invoke awareness about the historical reality of abortion.  They have placed these billboards in majority African American communities throughout Georgia because they have found that abortion clinics such as Planned Parenthood are prevalent in African American and lower-income communities.  The “Endangered Species” campaign believes the locations of these clinics are strategically targeting minority and lower-income populations.

It is usually the case that whenever abortion is discussed it is spoken of as an issue of choice, reproductive rights or the right to life. But this campaign seeks to also address the historical underpinnings of abortion and its connection with eugenics.

Creating A Pure Race…

Eugenics comes from the Greek word eugenes meaning “good in birth”. In 1883 Francis Galton started using the word” eugenics” defining it as the “science of improving stock-not only by judicious mating, but whatever tends to give the more suitable races or strains of blood a better chance of prevailing over the less suitable than they otherwise would have had.” Galton later experimented with a variety of different formulations such as “the study of agencies under social control which may improve or impair the racial qualities of future generations”, and “the science which deals with all influences that improve the inborn qualities of a race: also with those that develop them to the utmost advantage”[1]

This “science” has also been cited as influencing Hitler and his quest for creating a pure race of people.

The Mother of Planned Parenthood

As I perused the website I noticed that the campaigns’ leading target is Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger who was an advocate for Birth Control and eugenics in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s. She states that the Birth Control Movement and Eugenics are “seeking to assist the race toward elimination of the unfit….We who advocate Birth Control, on the other hand, lay all our emphasis upon stopping not only the reproduction of the unfit but upon stopping all reproduction when there is not economic means of providing proper care for those who we born in health”[2].

The Plot To Destroy the “Unfit”

Margaret Sanger is also noted for the creation of the “Negro Project” in which she partnered with the likes of W.E.B Dubois, Mary McLeod Bethune, and Adam Clayton Powell to set up sites in African American communities where the community members could get access to contraceptives.  In a private letter written by Margaret Sanger she writes that, “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”[3] It is clear by this statement that even the African American community was fearful of the effects of birth control, and the movement’s real agenda. However, some of the members of the African American communities did use the services in order to have access to contraceptives but a majority of the community especially in the south distrusted the doctors and clinicians, therefore the clinics that were set up in the community did not remain for long.

Although the Endangered Species campaign is linking Margaret Sanger to abortion, particularly in African American communities  it is important to note that the Birth Control Movement during Margaret Sanger’s time, opposed abortion, she states that “abortion is a wasteful, injurious, and almost degrading method of dealing with the birth rate… a society in which abortion flourishes cannot be regarded as a healthy society… a community which takes upon itself to encourage abortion is incurring a heavy responsibility. ”[4] However in 1963, the president of Planned Parenthood, Alan Guttmacher, did begin to offer abortions to pregnant mothers at their sites after the Roe. Vs. Wade court decision.

But whether Margaret Sanger did nor did not promote abortion the fact still remains that underlying the Birth Control Movement and the fight for abortion, was a desire to decrease the population of people who were deemed undesirable or unfit.

And so I ask, who are we to decide who is fit to be born?

We want to hear your thoughts. Is abortion an issue of race extermination that evangelicals have left out of the conversation regarding abortion issues or is race a minor aspect that should be talked about regarding abortion?

Click here for more information about the “Endangered Species” campaign.

Minister Alisha Tatem was born in Allentown, PA to Pastor Melvin and Jacqueline Tatem.  She attended Messiah College and received her bachelor’s degree in social work. After graduating from college she worked for Early Head Start as a Child Development Partner, and served as a youth minister at Grace Deliverance Baptist Church for three years. She was licensed to preach on May 20, 2007 at her home church in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and presently serves on the ministerial staff at Total Grace Christian Center, in Decatur, GA. She will be graduating from Columbia Theological Seminary, May of this year with her Master’s of Divinity, and looks forward to pursuing further education in pastoral counseling. If there is one thing that describes Minister Tatem best it would be that she has a heart for young people and she is passionate about seeing young people give their lives over to God in the midst of competing societal pressures. It is her hope that she would be able to touch many people’s lives on this life journey and one day hear God say, Well done my good and faithful servant.



[3] The moral property of women: a history of birth control politics in America by Linda Gordon


, , , , , ,

  • roze albina ches

    Yes, I have actually heard of this movement.. It's quite demonic. Unfortunately there are women who run to the abortion clinics white and black, after they have had unprotected sex. It's a catch 22 here. So many young women think this is an answer for them and never count the cost and the price they will later pay. In any case, because of the need and want of those who seek abortions, this woman will always be in business. It's the same scenario as Madelyn O'Hare, she was one woman who set an attack based upon her hate for God. She was able to get prayer taken out of school forever. But her fate was a horrible death. She was quoted to say, “when I die, whatever you do, do NOT let those Christ—ians get their hands on me”. And she got her wish. Instead, her own body guard murdered her and her grand daughter and son, then cut them into small pieces and threw them in the desert. We will reap what we sow. God is a patient God and He wishes not all should perish. But there will come at day by her own hand, Margaret Sanger will fall victim to an untimely death not welcomed by her, if she continues to support and promote this type of subtle holocaust.

  • Good article. I think that this is definitely an ignored issue in the black community because abortion has become a political issue more than a moral issue, and that's unfortunate. As I see it, most African-Americans identify with the Democratic party, which is largely pro-choice and left leaning, while most African-Americans are turned off by the Republican party, yet it is largely pro-life.
    So what has happened is the black community gets put in a Democratic box and supports those politicians, and ignoring the evil of abortion. You can be democrate, lean left but recognize that abortion is not a political issue, it's not about choice, it's about life. And it kill more blacks than homocide, HIV, or cancer. Check out this article for some thoughts on the church's response to abortion should be:

  • Rosa

    To find out that Adam Clayton Powell was part of the same movement as Margaret Sanger is a shocker to me that i did not know and it is incredible to me even further that this man did nothing in all the years to protest against the onslaught of Planned Parenthood's quest to exterminate as many babies as possible, especially the Negro race in our country…now PP wants to go world-wide spreading their uglyness to as many women as possible, killing in such a cruel and inhumane way children of God. This butchery has to stop and we need the Black community leaders to oppose ALL politicians that are making abortion and late term aboritons as easy as going to the store for candy…We need you the Pastors, the Ministers, the Priests, all leaders of all churches to condemn all politicians that promote abortion and it has to be done in the pulpit and said to all the church attendees…we cannot any longer promote in government any politician, any judge for any court, that does not adhere to the saving of human life and the protection of the unborn…may God bless all that fight for the unborn.

  • Pingback: Inaugural Blog Carnival: Challenges of Doing Diversity and Environment « Rooted in the Earth:()

  • Alisha

    Thank you all for your comments and insight. I cannot help but think of the passage of scripture that says “you formed me in my mother's womb” “before I was born you knew me”. “Before I was born” tells me that God knew the situation and circumstance in which I would be born into, in which we would all be born into whether that situation was planned or unplanned, pretty or ugly, God knew. And if God knew, surely there is meaning to all of life. I often wonder if most abortions are spurred on by fear, fear of not being able to fulfill our own dreams, fear of not having enough money to take care of a child, fear of people's perceptions, fear of a certain segment of our society. If this is the case how do we stop fearing life and begin to embrace all of life.

  • Alisha, my heart is drawn toward yours as I have been an early childhood educator for many many years…It really came out of my passion for the pro-life movement and caring for babies that survived the holocaust of abortion…I spend a lot of time researching Margaret Sanger and the roots of Planned Parenthood and believe that there is still many more secrets behind this organization that still need to be revealed…Great article and blessings to you as you seek to know how to serve HIM best!

    • Alisha

      Mary, thank you for sharing! I'd love to hear any more information you have found on Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood. We must keep the flow of knowledge going so we can educate people so they can make wise decisions.

  • Hans

    you know I am just reading the comments, sharing the truth that abortion is murder with scriptures that back that up as well as studing the reality of this genocide has become one of my passions. Did you know that 25% of what would be our African American brothers and sisters of the flesh have been aborted. Approximately 1/4 of our race has been murdered. Prov. 31 vs. 8 says “Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction” unborn baby's in the womb are unable to speak for themselves….I believe as believers we are expected by God to speak up for them..
    Jesus Saves!

    • Amtatem

      We definitely must speak up or we will continue to see the decline of our community not only in numbers but in how we live.