Abortion Kills More Black Americans Than the Seven Leading Causes of Death Combined, Says CDC Data

Karen Schuberg | October 22, 2009 | 4:43pm EDT
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Dr. Freda Bush spoke recently at an event in Washington, D.C. to recognize the work done by Pregnancy Resource Centers to help women who face unplanned pregnancy. She said that abortion kills more African Americans than many of the most deadly diseases blamed for killing blacks each year combined. (CNSNews.com/Penny Starr)

(CNSNews.com) – Abortion kills more black Americans than the seven leading causes of death combined, according to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for 2005, the latest year for which the abortion numbers are available.
Abortion killed at least 203,991 blacks in the 36 states and two cities (New York City and the District of Columbia) that reported abortions by race in 2005, according to the CDC.  During that same year, according to the CDC, a total of 198,385 blacks nationwide died from heart disease, cancer, strokes, accidents, diabetes, homicide, and chronic lower respiratory diseases combined.  These were the seven leading causes of death for black Americans that year. 

A total of 49 jurisdictions reported their abortion numbers for 2005 to the CDC. These included all 50 states--except California, Louisiana, and New Hampshire--and New York City and the District of Columbia.  Of these 49 jurisdiction, only 36 states plus New York City and the District of Columbia reported the number of abortions by race. 

Of these 36 states, Georgia reported the largest number of abortions--18,325--among African Americans.  Idaho and Montana reported the fewest, 16 and 17 respectively.
Among the large states not reporting abortions by race--and thus where the number of blacks killed by abortions is not included in the national total of 203,991--are California, Florida, Illinois and the rest of New York state outside of New York City.
According to the CDC, the total of 203,991 blacks killed by abortion in 2005 also does not include those aborted by "private physicians’ procedures.”
Every year since 1969, the CDC has amassed abortion data by state or area of occurrence, requesting information each year from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and New York City. The CDC attempts to collect data on abortions by the age, race and marital status of  the women who undergo them as well as the type of abortion procedure.
However, the “CDC is not a regulatory agency,” Senior Press Officer Karen Hunter told CNSNews.com. “So while we are required by Congress to collect this information, states are not required to provide any data to the CDC, including abortion surveillance.”
In 2005, a total of 820,151 legal abortions were performed in the 49 jurisdication that reported abortions to the CDC, according to the “Abortion Surveillance” report, which is published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, or MMWR, for Nov. 28, 2008. (Scroll up to top of report)
The report states, “Approximately 1 in 5 U.S. pregnancies have ended in abortion,” and also notes some limitations on the data: “The overall number, ratio, and rate of abortions are conservative estimates; the total numbers of legal induced abortions provided by central health agencies and reported to the CDC for 2005 were probably lower than the numbers actually performed.”
In Table 9 of the report, it states that there were 203,991 blacks killed by abortion, which comprises 35.5 percent of all abortions reported for that year.

Rev. Clenard H. Childress, Jr., founder of BlackGenocide.org, told CNSNews.com that according to numbers gleaned from statistics provided by the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion group, 1,784 blacks are aborted each day. Also, he notes on his Web site that three out of five African-American women will obtain an abortion.
Childress said the information and sources on his Web site have never been challenged by abortion-access supporters. “This is because they can see that themselves, and they know them probably to be far worse than we’re reporting. The facts come from the pro-abort/pro-choice community,” he said.
“You want to go to a reliable source where people can’t dismiss what you’re saying,” Childress said.
“Yet the Congressional Black Caucus, NAACP, Urban League, and the National Action Committee of Al Sharpton fail abysmally to report not only the decimation but the health ramifications which are questionably very pertinent and provable,” said Childress.  
“It would be one thing if we were talking about something hypothetically, but these are actual empirical proofs. … We simply want the health issues of abortion to be discussed,” Childress added.
Susan Cohen, director of government affairs at the Guttmacher Institute, said that black women are not inordinately targeted. 
It is the high number of unintended pregnancies among black women that explains the disproportionate number of black abortions, she stated in a policy analysis, “Abortion and Women of Color: The Bigger Picture (2008),” which was provided to CNSNews.com by Guttmacher Institute spokeswoman Rebecca Wind.

While acknowledging that the abortion rate for blacks in the United States is “almost 5 times that for white women,” Cohen concluded in her analysis, “these higher unintended pregnancy rates (among African American women) reflect the particular difficulties that many women in minority communities face in accessing high-quality contraceptive services and in using their chosen method of birth control consistently and effectively over long periods of time."
“Because black women experience so many more unintended pregnancies than any other group—sharply disproportionate to their numbers in the general population—they are more likely to seek out and obtain abortion services than any other group,” said Cohen.  
 When asked to comment on this report, Dr. Freda Bush, a pro-life obstetrician and gynecologist in private practice in Jackson, Miss., told CNSNews.com that she found the explanation for the high rate of black abortions “disingenuous.”
“I would just like for them to explain why there’s such a significant proportion of their (Planned Parenthood) clinics that are located in minority communities,” said Bush, who is black. “So if you’ll notice, I did not mention that as a factor when I talked to you [earlier], so I was not accusing them of anything. 
“I was just pointing out the fact that we have more, but since they brought it up, I would like for them to explain where their clinics are located, and why their clinics are located in that area,” she added.
“I would also like for an explanation of why their founder, Margaret Sanger, who was a known eugenist, also had a Negro project, and an explanation if that was not directed at the ‘undesirables,’” said Bush. “So, I’m not accusing them of anything. I would just like an explanation for the practices that they have continued.”
Dr. Alveda King, niece of slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is a pro-life activist. In August 2007 she told a meeting of Priests for Life that abortionists “plant their killing centers in minority neighborhoods and prey upon women who think they have no hope.” 
“The great irony,” she said, “is that abortion has done what the Klan only dreamed of.” 

Queries to Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America were not returned.
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