On Tuesday, the 50th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "Letter From Birmingham Jail," his niece, Alveda King, director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life, said her uncle's letter applies just as profoundly today to abortion as it did in 1963 to segregation.
If Uncle M.L. were alive today, he would surely include the 21st-century womb babies and their mothers in his "Letter From Birmingham Jail." The atrocity of abortion in America has killed millions of human babies who are often considered to be property, chattel and less than human.
In his 1963 letter, he wrote that segregation "ends up relegating persons to the status of things." Change "segregation" to "abortion" and you have the year 2013.
Jim Crow laws gave us the continuing dehumanization of African-Americans, plus beatings, lynchings and the Ku Klux Klan. Roe v. Wade has given us the dehumanization of the unborn and—now—born babies, skull crushings and spine snippings. Consider Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia; the Planned Parenthood Chicago facility that killed Tonya Reaves; and all of the other hundreds of abortion providers and Planned Parenthood officials who can't say whether fully born babies who survive abortions should be helped to live.
In the "Letter From Birmingham Jail," Uncle M.L. noted that by their effort and example, early Christians "brought an end to such evils as infanticide" in the Greco-Roman world. We now know, however, that the Greco-Roman world has been revived in abortion clinics across the land. Where the ancients would leave their unwanted babies to die of exposure, abortionists now leave their "mistakes" to die in corners or closets—or worse.
My Uncle M.L. wrote in 1953 that the most segregated hour in America is 11 a.m. on Sunday because back then, blacks and whites didn't often worship together.
Fast-forward to 2013, where minority mothers and our babies are targeted by abortion providers as the most vulnerable recipients of abortion in the name of women's rights and solutions to poverty. Even Gosnell, whose defense lawyer said if women want Mayo Clinic standards, they should go to Mayo Clinic—yes, even Gosnell's "House of Horrors" had a slightly cleaner "White Only" surgical room, while black women and their babies were butchered in a torture chamber in another section of the abortion mill. All the while, they all keep trying to hide the fact that all abortions are dangerous to a woman's health and her baby's life and generally result in death and misery.
This all leads me to say that the most segregated place a woman can go today is an abortion mill! And no ludicrous references to a 1966 deceptive Planned Parenthood Award offered to MLK and accepted by his wife, not him, is going to trick people into believing that my uncle would condone slaughtering babies and damaging their mothers in the name of justice.
Uncle M.L. even once asked, "How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: 'An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.'"
The Rev. King was a man of God and a preacher of the Word. He sought a peace that was not just the absence of tension but the presence of justice. He would agree that there can be no real peace in a society that tolerates injustice. He would most certainly agree that the taking of innocent lives is a horrible injustice.
There is no doubt that just as my Uncle M.L. called America's clergy to awaken 50 years ago to the moral transgression of segregation, he would today sound out a call for a moral awakening and urge all Americans—and indeed all human beings around the world today—to awaken to the grievous wrong of abortion and the subsequent devastation of natural marriage and family.
Alveda C. King is the daughter of the late civil-rights activist the Rev. A.D. King and niece of Martin Luther King Jr. She is also a civil rights and pro-life activist, as well as director of African-American outreach for Priests for Life. Click here to visit her blog.