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Alveda King says abortion movement rooted in racism

Pro-life advocate encourages more black Arkansans to join fight for unborn

Published: February 26, 2015      
Aprille Hanson
Civil Rights Activist Dr. Alveda King sits with Andy Mayberry, president of Arkansas Right to Life, and his wife, Rep. Julie Mayberry. On Feb. 18, King shared her pro-life message in Little Rock.

Dr. Alveda C. King believes in a woman’s right to choose. For her, that means being pro-life.

“A woman has the right to choose what she does with her own body absolutely. I’m a woman, yes we do, but the baby is not our body,” King said to a crowd at Promiseland Church Ministries in Little Rock Feb. 18. “So where is the lawyer for the baby? Does the baby not have the right to live?”

King, niece of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is the director of African American Outreach for Priests for Life and the author of her latest book, “King Rules.” She was brought to Little Rock by Arkansas Black Americans for Life, an outreach group of Arkansas Right to Life, to share her pro-life message and the connection between Planned Parenthood and the civil rights movement. During her two-day visit, King met with various church leaders and was recognized at the state capitol in the House and Senate.

“She’s a civil rights leader that’s speaking directly to this issue,” said LeKita Gaynor, Arkansas Black Americans for Life coordinator.

According to information shared at the event, Planned Parenthood has aborted 15 million black babies since 1973 with the help of taxpayer funding. Two of the three clinics where abortions are done in Arkansas are located in predominantly black communities.

King drove the point home by trailers from the documentaries “Bloodmoney: The Business of Abortion” and “Maafa 21: Black Genocide in 21st Century America.”

For King, who experienced racial hatred first hand in the midst of the civil right struggle when her family’s home was bombed in Birmingham, Ala., said abortions are linked to racism.

In “Maafa 21,” the film explains that words like “population control” and “family planning” are code for genocide toward minorities, comparing places like Planned Parenthood to eugenics programs, controlling a race’s population.

In the video clip, a man explains, “The only way possible of decreasing the negro population is by means of controlling fertility. Birth control facilities could be extended relatively more to negros than to whites since negros are more concentrated in the lower income and education places.”

“Planned Parenthood … was giving free and very low-cost vasectomies and tubal ligations called tube ties; they did that until abortion became legal. It was called the Negro Project,” King said. “It’s called eugenics and genocide.”

Though abortion touches the minority community, it is a “human race” problem, King said.

“I had a woman come up to me recently and she said, ‘I had 19 abortions.’ I’m not making this up. She was African American,” King told the gasping crowd. “Then I had a Caucasian lady come up and said, ‘I had 17.’”

Aside from the racist history with abortions, King shared her own personal testimony about abortion and how it affected various parts of her family. King’s parents, noted civil rights activist Rev. A.D. King and Naomi Barber King, were engaged when her mother got pregnant with her. 

“Mom said, ‘I want to finish college first.’ That’s one of the first lies you hear from the abortion industry — you’ll never be able to finish college if you have this baby while you’re young. You must get an abortion. The Birth Control League, which later became Planned Parenthood, was passing out literature saying, ‘Come to us if you have a mysterious female ailment.’ They couldn’t say ‘a baby’ because abortion was illegal. So mother had a ‘mysterious female ailment.’”

Naomi King’s mother suggested going to talk to their pastor, Martin Luther King Sr.

“She said he took his hand and slammed it down and said, ‘Baby they’re lying to you. That’s not a lump of flesh, that’s my granddaughter. I saw her in a dream three years ago. She has bright skin, bright red hair and she’s going to bless many people,’” King told the crowd.

Alveda King was born with fair skin and red hair. It was only in recent years she found out about her mother’s contemplated abortion.

“My mother loved me dearly and loves me now. We are very, very close.”

In 1966, King said her uncle Dr. Martin Luther King received the Margaret Sanger Award from Planned Parenthood, but did not attend the ceremony. His wife Coretta Scott King, who was pro-choice, attended instead.

“They tried to give it to him,” King said, insisting her uncle did not support Planned Parenthood. “Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ He said, ‘The negro cannot win if he’s willing to sacrifice his children for immediate personal comfort and safety.’”

But King had an even more personal testimony — she had two abortions, one in 1971 and 1973.

“I had a miscarriage that was associated with that. I had problems with my cervix … and all those kinds of things because abortion is linked to cervical cancer and breast cancer,” King said. “The birth control chemicals that are in the devices and the pills and the shots … are horrible.”

King said forgiving the abortion doctor was one step toward healing.

“It was hard, believe it or not, for me to forgive me for believing the lies of the abortion industry,” King told the crowd.

“I’ve seen the pictures of aborted babies many times and so sometimes it’s hard for me to see that,” she said. “When you see them, see all of that through the heart of God. Keep asking God to restore, reconcile, refresh, heal because these wounds must be healed.”

The crowd wrote down questions for King to answer, including how to get the African American community more involved in pro-life outreach, particularly praying outside the abortion clinics.

“One thing we find when the African American men go, then the ladies will go too. Sometimes you start with one, two or three and it grows,” she said. “There’s not one aspect of it — the pregnancy care, pro-life [information], the legislative input, the prayer, all of those are equally important.”

For more information about Arkansas Black Americans for Life, call (501) 663-4237 or visit

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