A coalition of pro-lifers led by the niece of Martin Luther King Jr. and the president of a Hispanic Christian organization is asking the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade based in part on abortion's ties to the eugenics movement.
The friend-of-the-court brief, submitted by Liberty Counsel on behalf of multiple pro-life leaders, asserts that abortion has been used as a "tool of the eugenics movement" in the past and that the abortion industry continues to target minority communities today.
Liberty Counsel represents, among others, Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Dean Nelson of the Frederick Douglass Foundation and Alveda King of Speak for Life. King is the niece of the late Martin Luther King Jr.
The coalition is asking the court to uphold a Mississippi law that prohibits abortion after the 15th week of a woman's term. The law includes exceptions for medical emergencies and fetal abnormality. Oral arguments on the Mississippi law will be heard this fall.
"Planned Parenthood – the largest abortion provider in the United States – has continued the legacy of its founder, Margaret Sanger, of eliminating or preventing unborn children based on race, sex, and disability," the brief asserts.
States like Mississippi "have a compelling interest 'in preventing abortion from becoming a tool of modern-day eugenics,'" the brief says.
Many eugenicists of the past, including former Planned Parenthood President Alan Guttmacher, "endorsed abortion for eugenic reasons," the brief says.
"Abortion has devastated communities of color. According to one peer-reviewed study, 'black women have been experiencing abortions at a rate nearly four times that of white women for more than 30 years," the coalition asserts in the brief.
Further, the brief says, "nearly eight out of ten Planned Parenthood abortion clinics are within walking distance of predominantly Black or Hispanic neighborhoods." The abortion industry, the brief says in quoting a 2012 study, "targets minority neighborhoods."
Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, believed "that the 'unfit' and 'feeble-minded' were a menace to society," according to the brief. Such terms "were code words for the poor, Blacks, and other minorities," the brief says.
"This case is an ideal vehicle for the Court to finally overrule Roe v. Wade and its progeny, which have constitutionalized eugenic abortions as a fundamental right," the brief says.
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Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.