February is African American History Month. African Americans have had a very difficult time in the U.S. They were treated as less than human, bought and sold as slaves, separated from families, abused, killed, denied an education, denied the right to vote, segregated and experienced many other evils. It is a sad history and a reflection of the viciousness and cruelty of one group of human beings toward another, all in the name of rights.

It has been 60 years since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Brown v. Board of Education, which was the beginning of the end of legal segregation. The Court’s previous legal doctrine of separate but equal is evidence of how fallible our judges can be. Justice — giving to a person what he rightly deserves — does not always rule the day in America.

It has only been 46 years since Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. I admire his courage to act against the injustices of his day. This line from his famous speech, I Have A Dream, resonates in my mind, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its Creed: We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal.”

Unfortunately, while the legal doctrine of separate but equal enshrined in the laws and hearts of the people was being dismantled, an even more pernicious, unjust and deadly teaching was making its way into the laws and hearts of many people.

“My body my right, the right to privacy, choice, and reproductive freedom” were vocalized to push for the recognition that women had the right to terminate a pregnancy. The Supreme Court justices ratified this principle into their legal doctrines with Roe v. Wade in 1973, invalidating state laws against abortion. What is the fruit of this law?

This February it was published in the Summary of Vital Statistics for 2012 for New York City that for the first time African Americans had more induced abortions than live births. There were 24,758 live births and 31,328 abortions. For Hispanics there were 36,642 live births and 22,917 abortions. For whites, there were 39,112 live births and 9,704 abortions.

What people need to learn is that the use of artificial contraceptives and ultimately legalized abortion was foreseen by many as a method of eugenics. Margaret Sanger, in her book published in 1922, “Woman, Morality, and Birth Control,” wrote, “We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.” Sanger is the founder of Planned Parenthood, currently the largest provider of abortions in the U.S.

With thousands and millions of unborn human beings being killed, the legal doctrine in Roe v. Wade has destroyed the idea that all men are created equal and must be granted their God-given inalienable rights. Let me quote Dr. King once more: “Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.”

Benjamin Sanchez
UNM alumnus