13th Amendment Was Meant to Protect Black People, Not the Abortion Lobby | Opinion

If our slavery-era ancestors were alive today, they would say the abortion lobby is the modern plantation master, and that we are once again being subjected to the lie of Black helplessness as our people are used and abused through abortion.

The common justifications for enslaving Black people and for committing abortions on Black people are eerily similar. One of the defenses that slavery rested on was the idea that Black people could not be independent; they must be enslaved "for their own good" while enslavers used their work to enrich themselves. The abortion lobby operates in much the same fashion, and no historical abortion supporter proves this point better than the mother of Planned Parenthood herself: Margaret Sanger.

A notorious eugenicist, Sanger left behind a legacy of racism. Despite this, she is revered among abortion supporters, and her racist work has led to Black Americans dying from abortion at a far higher rate than white Americans. Just since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, more than 15 million Black people have been killed in abortions.

Even now in a post-Roe v. Wade America, the abortion lobby is grasping to maintain its power over Black people. Earlier this week, Vice President Kamala Harris insinuated that unless we Black Americans can end children's lives with abortion, we are not free—arguing for a violent death for those who are helpless and often disenfranchised under the law. Perhaps ugliest of all, others have proposed using the 13th Amendment to cover Black abortions. It is hard to say exactly what emotion we felt as Black Americans when we first learned of it, but a mixture of shock and disgust is a fair description.

The idea that Congress should utilize the 13th Amendment to grant Black Americans the right to an abortion as a "matter of racial equality" is insulting to the core. It's based on a racist premise that without the ability to kill our children, we Black Americans cannot be equal to other races, who apparently can be successful without having to "off" their offspring.

Lincoln Memorial before March for Life
Pro-life activists visit the Lincoln Memorial before the 49th annual March for Life, on January 21, 2022, in Washington, DC. Brendan Smialowski / AFP/Getty Images

Such a bigoted idea is an affront to Black people and a slight to every Black American who came before us and paved the way towards equality. Unlike the many Black Americans whose family lineage has been lost because of the ravages of slavery, Omarr can trace his heritage back to his courageous great-great-great grandfather, who bravely joined the Union Army at 72 years old in order to ensure freedom for his children and generations to come. Most men now over 70 have retired and live lives of leisure, but Omarr's ancestor chose to go to war even in his old age to protect the lives of his future descendants.

What would he think of the claim that the 13th Amendment should protect the killing of those descendants?

This 13th Amendment argument is an offense against Black women and families as well. While abortion supporters love to emphasize that they "stand with Black women," Faith acutely understands the degradation of this line of thought as a pro-life pregnant Black woman herself. Why are Black women being singled out as desperate for abortion and in danger if abortion is unavailable? The only answer is the implication that Black women are somehow weaker, dumber, or less resilient than women of any other skin color. This is yet another example of the abortion lobby's self-righteous attempt to be the saviors of Black women in a bizarre effort to "help" us by insisting that we kill our children.

Using the amendment which freed the Black community from slavery as a crutch to support abortion is shameful. In the spirit of those who helped break our prior shackles, such as Omarr's heroic ancestor, the Black community needs to rise up and tell the abortion lobby that it may not abuse the 13th Amendment towards its own selfish ends. This amendment was created to eradicate slavery in the United States, and we must not allow the abortion industry to use it against those for whom it was precisely created.

Our ancestors are not alive today, so the torch of this fight for life has been handed down to us; we must protect Black preborn lives.

Faith Elwonger is Students for Life of America's Texas Regional Coordinator, working in Texas and Oklahoma, and Omarr Peters is Students for Life of America's Southern Regional Coordinator, working in Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana. Students for Life of America/SFLAction has more than 1,300 groups in all 50 states..

The views expressed in this article are the writers' own.