Silent protestors hovered outside Bloomington’s Planned Parenthood office Wednesday, joined by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece.
The late civil rights leader’s niece, Alveda King, told protestors the leading cause of death among African-Americans is abortion. Numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau show 448,000 African-American fetuses were aborted in 2007, while the total number of African-American deaths by other causes was just less than 290,000.
Though King had two abortions herself in the 1980s, she now has six children and opposes the practice.
“A woman has the right to choose what she does with her body,” King says. “The baby in the womb of a mother is not the mother’s body. That’s a distinct individual with the chromosomes that make him or her unique.”
Indiana University senior Chuck Deuschle attended the protest as part of a pro-choice group defending Planned Parenthood. He says a woman should be able to choose what she wants with her body, especially if she can’t take care of the child.
“I feel like taking away that choice of abortion for a woman means that we’re kind of burdening the state with these children that perhaps won’t be taken care of,” he says.
Census statistics show many more white women than black women have abortions each year, but the rate at which African-Americans voluntarily end pregnancies is almost four times greater.