“If a man breaks a relationship with you because you would not allow him to participate in the sexual act, you can be assured that he did not love you from the beginning.”
- Martin Luther King, Jr. 1957
There has been a lot of discussion in the news recently about funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides cancer screenings as well as abortion to low-income women. The question of abortion funding has elicited outrage and accusations that women’s rights are under attack in the same way that minorities are under attack by lack of civil rights. Therefore, advocates on both sides of the issue have looked to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. for insight.
The Reverend supported birth control for African-Americans as a way of alleviating poverty. MLK was the first recipient of the Margaret Sanger award for his support of Planned Parenthood in 1966. However, abortion was not one of Planned Parenthood’s services then as it was illegal, and birth control was only being promoted for married couples at that time. MLK made his personal opinion regarding sexual behavior quite clear in a 1957 advice column, where he told a young woman:
“I think you should hold firm to the principle of premarital virginity. The problems created by premarital sex relationships are far greater than the problems created by premarital virginity. The suspicion, fears, and guilt feelings generated by premarital sex relations are contributing factors to the present breakdown of the family. Real men still respect purity and virginity within women. If a man breaks a relationship with you because you would not allow him to participate in the sexual act, you can be assured that he did not love you from the beginning.”
“Abortions are destroying us as women,” Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., told The Final Call.
Ms. King is a pro-life advocate and the director of African-American Outreach for the New York-based Priests for Life ministries. Alveda King became an outspoken anti-abortion activist after having experienced more than one unhappy abortion in her teen years. She now believes that “the Negro cannot win if he’s willing to sacrifice the futures of his children for immediate personal comfort and safety.” King considers Planned Parenthood to be the “number one killer of African-Americans.”
In 1996, Planned Parenthood reported that “Blacks, who make up 14 percent of all childbearing women, have 31 percent of all abortions.”
The Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision of 1973 legalized abortions in America and since then, Black women have accounted for between 13-15 million abortions, making them five times more likely to have the procedure than their White counterparts. From 1973 through 2005, more than 45 million legal abortions occurred nationwide.
It is meaningful to note that “Roe” – the actual woman who was responsible for legalizing abortion in America – seriously regretted the political use of her pregnancy. Roe is now an outspoken anti-abortion advocate! Her conversion to Christianity was influenced by anti-abortion protesters around her clinic who chatted with her during her cigaret breaks. They explained to her about the true value of the human soul and the possibility of divine redemption.
Anti-abortion activists take amazing amounts of abuse from the public that only a Muslim would understand. Once in a while somebody listens. One young Black single mother told me that her unborn child saved her life. Being pregnant changed her – for the better.
As complex as the abortion issue remains, the issue of birth control is even more complicated. When left to our own natures, the human female body is capable of producing about one child per year. In the olden days, this could mean 14 or more children, and often, premature death. Just producing enough nutrition to create and sustain that many lives was the central challenge in every woman’s life.
Classic country singer Loretta Lynn wrote a song in 1972 called “The Pill” that was banned on all the radio stations. She sang:
“You …promised if I’d be your wife you’d show me the world
But all I’ve seen of this old world is a bed and a doctor bill.
I’m tearing down your brooder house ‘cause now I’ve got the Pill!”
The availability of birth control that is not dependent upon a male partner’s cooperation has made a huge difference in the lives of women. The past forty years have demonstrated that women who do not have too many children are capable of competing with men, and sometimes, excelling them in all realms. At the same time, the existence of birth control has contributed to a certain level of male expectation that is divorced from the concept of a meaningful and committed emotional relationship.
What is never discussed are the health consequences. Every type of Pill, or injection, or NuvaRing can cause cancer, seizures or heart attack, and will certainly increase your Candida growth of yeast while killing the good bacteria in your digestive system, just like taking antibiotics. It’s like being an alcoholic or a foodaholic eating way too many sugary foods. Yin/Yang balance is health. Birth control causes a stress upon your immune system. If you have, or will develop, any kind of immune issue, taking hormonal birth control medication will affect that. Be particularly alert to increased risk of cervical and breast cancers, heart attack and strokes, high blood pressure, gall bladder and liver disease, decreased bone density, yeast overgrowth and infection and increased risk of blood clotting.
The counter-argument in favor of hormonal birth control is that the process of pregnancy and birth is also dangerous and potentially life-threatening. I don’t know about you, but if I had the choice between cancer and another child, I know what I would choose. But you never get to make those choices with rear view mirror hindsight.
Karin Friedemann is a Boston-based freelance writer. karinfriedemann.blogspot.com