Obama's Abortion Stance Hurts Blacks, Say Pro-Life Experts

By Penny Starr | July 7, 2008 | 8:06 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) may be riding what seems to be a perfect wave toward the Democratic presidential nomination, but some African-Americans say his pro-abortion stance make him a danger to the black community.

"Between 1882 and 1962, 3,446 blacks were lynched," says Rev. Clenard H. Childress Jr. on his Web site, blackgenocide.org. "That number is surpassed in less than three days by abortion."

More than 1,400 African-American children are aborted each day in the United States, said Childress.

Childress also fights to promote life in the African-American community as president of the northeast chapter of the non-profit Life Education and Resource Network. He also is the senior pastor at New Calvary Baptist Church in Montclair, N.J.

"We want every American citizen to know this man's voting record on such a crucial issue," Childress told Cybercast News Service, referring to Obama's vote against the Born Alive Victims Protection Act, a federal law that gives rights to newborns who survive late-term abortion. "Abortion affects the African-American community more than any other ethnic group in the country," said Childress.

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, founder and president of the non-profit Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny, or BOND, told Cybercast News Service that he doesn't want the first African-American president to hold values that are detrimental to the black community.

"Abortion is genocide," Peterson said. "It has had a greater affect on the African American community than slavery itself. For Barack Obama to support abortion shows a lack of love for the black community and especially for the unborn."

Childress agreed that just being African-American doesn't make Obama the right person to be president.

"Martin Luther King said of his daughter that he didn't want her to be judged by the color of her skin, but by the content of her character," said Childress. "People are applauding Obama because of the color of his skin and not his character."

Walter Hoye runs the Issues4Life Foundation in the San Francisco Bay area, an organization he said is designed to create and facilitate dialog about life in the African- American community.

"Abortion is the No. 1 cause of death in the African-American community," Hoye told Cybercast News Service. He added that the 2006 census shows that the black population in the United States has fallen below the numbers needed to sustain it.

"We are below the replacement rate," Hoye said. "We don't call it genocide to excite people. But it's a concern we have and it's become an issue that needs to be addressed nationally."

He added that he is hurt and disappointed by Obama's pro-abortion platform.

"I can't think of anything that hurts African-Americans more," Hoye said. "If you don't have life, what does the minimum wage mean? If you don't respect life, nothing else really matters."

These activists' remarks have some statistical support from research done by the Guttmacher Institute's studies on sexual and reproductive health. In a June 2006 study, the institute found that within the overall abortion rate of 21 per 1,000 women, black and Hispanic women have higher abortion rates than non-Hispanic white women. The study cited that women in the black and Hispanic communities have more unplanned pregnancies than non-Hispanic white women.

Ken Blackwell, a distinguished fellow for Public Policy at the Buckeye Institute and a fellow with Family Empowerment at the Family Research Council, both conservative groups, said it is less important to oppose Obama in the upcoming presidential race if he wins the nomination than to make sure the Republican Party nominates a strong pro-life candidate.

"The abortion issue, unfortunately, is not a differentiator on the Democratic side," Blackwell said, noting that all of the candidates vying for the nomination share Obama's stand on abortion. "Unfortunately, for the soul of the Democratic party, it's not a big issue."

Instead, Blackwell told Cybercast News Service he will use his energies to rally behind a Republican who is staunchly pro-life, although he stopped short of endorsing a candidate, saying that most are against abortion.

And Blackwell thinks that when the two parties have chosen their nominee, abortion will be a significant contrast issue -- and an issue Obama will have to address.

"At that point, Obama won't be able to dodge the issue," Blackwell said.

Moreover, working to make sure a pro-life president is elected is really the best way to bring an end to the abortion debacle in America, Blackwell said.

"I want a Republican to win (the presidency) and I want a genuine pro-lifer to win," he said. "At the end of the day, you can't beat something for nothing. I will work hard to make sure we have a strong pro-life candidate that we can elect so we don't put at risk the lives of millions of unborn babies."

Calls to Sen. Obama's campaign and to the Rainbow Push Coalition for comment on this story were not returned by press time.

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