Recently, Rick Santorum and Al Sharpton squared off in a fiery debate about race and abortion on the "Hannity Show" on Fox. Now, black pro-life leaders are weighing in on Santorum and Sharpton's takes on the controversial subject.
Former Senator Santorum is the chairman of America's Foundation, a political action committee committed to helping candidates and causes who share his commitment to conservative principles. America's Foundation believes that U.S. national security must be our foremost priority, free market principles are the most effective way to remedy our ailing economy, and we must protect those who are the most vulnerable.
Al Sharpton is president of the National Action Network, a civil rights organization. Founded in 1991 by Sharpton, the network says it works within the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to promote a modern civil rights agenda that includes the fight for social justice and one standard of justice and decency for all people regardless of race, religion, national origin, and gender.
But Sharpton's views on civil rights didn't sit too well with African-American pro-lifers, including MLK's own family.
"I cannot believe that Sharpton called the taking of innocent life in the womb a civil right," says Alveda King, founder of King for America and director of African American Outreach for Priests for Life. "This is not the right my father and my uncle gave their lives for. Civil rights protect individual freedoms, not deny them. The right to life is the 21st century civil right that will protect all human beings from conception to natural death and we must all fight for it."
Rev. Dr. Johnny Hunter of Life Education and Resource Network, pointed to a spirit of division in Sharpton's comments. "Al Sharpton, for the sake of Al Sharpton, railed against Rick Santorum for calling attention to the horrific impact abortion is having on the black community," says Hunter. "It is inconceivable that blacks today continue in that same spirit of division as we saw on the Hannity Show."
"As in the Dred Scott case, the Supreme Court, in 1973, denied protection to a class of citizens," says Walter Hoye of Personhood USA. "Justice Blackmun and the core of eugenicists he collaborated with cloaked their racial intent in the garment of abortion and Al Sharpton has happily agreed to be one of the faces of the Negro Project authored by Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger."
Dean Nelson, vice president of CareNet's Urban Outreach, notes that abortion has cut into the birthrate of the black community for more than 38 years: "The black community must recognize that Roe v. Wade is the modern answer to the lynching and killing fields of the south. It must be stopped."
"More black children have died by abortion than the seven leading causes of death in the African American community combined," argues Catherine Davis of the Network of Politically Active Christians. "Since the days of Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood has targeted the black community in order to control the growth of our population."
Day Gardner, president of the National Black Pro-Life Union, says Sharpton is not his leader, then launches a raging accusation against him.
"Mr. Sharpton's head is buried so deep in the silk pockets of Planned Parenthood he can't see the light of day. In the early 70s, we were told pre-born children were blobs of tissue. We were ignorant to the truth and didn't know any better," Gardner says. "But now with modern technology and the advances in 3D and 4D ultra sounds—we know the truth. Abortion is the greatest civil rights issue of our time! So, when we hear old cronies like Al Sharpton harping on protecting the civil rights of a woman to kill her child—I have to ask: What about the civil rights of the younger woman she's carrying? That baby girl is 'fully human' and her rights need to be protected, too—especially the most basic right, which is the right to life."
Sharpton could not immediately be reached for comment.
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