“Abortion and racism are both symptoms of a fundamental human error. The error is thinking that when someone stands in the way of our wants, we can justify getting that person out of our lives . . . We create the deceptions that the other person is less worthy, less human. We are all fully human. When we face this truth, there is no justification for treating those who look different than us as lesser beings. If we simply treat other people the way we’d like to be treated, racism, abortion and other forms of inhumanity will be things of the past.”1 Dr. Alveda King, pro-life leader and niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. Alveda King is a powerful advocate for the unborn and for black America as she speaks out against the tragedy of abortion. Since the 1973 Roe v. Wade2 Supreme Court decision, about 63 million babies have been aborted in facilities across the nation.3 It can be said with certainty that the practice has had a personal, practical, and political effect on communities and citizens. Every town, city, ethnicity, and age group has suffered from the tragic effects of this mostly surgical and sometimes chemical procedure. The true toll of abortion may remain unknown and immeasurable because the data, for the most part, has not been well collected or has been ignored by those responsible for its collection.
The so-called “right to privacy” that allowed abortion on demand was created by the Supreme Court4 for women, but for nearly 50 years now that right has been extended to the abortionist as well. This shroud of privacy enables abortionists to kill unborn babies late in pregnancy and to avoid accountability for harm caused to women.
Abortion has been the most unregulated industry in America because too many governors, legislators, and attorneys general fail to enforce or write laws that actually protect women. In addition to a lack of regulation, the ravages of “choice” continue to take a toll on individuals, families, states, and our nation. It has been particularly harmful to black culture and communities.
In a 2021 Amici Curiae (“friend of the court”) brief5 that defends the State of Pennsylvania’s restriction on Medicaid funding of abortion, nationally recognized leaders in the black community – including Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE) Founder and President Star Parker – argue that black women have been subjected to “the predatory objectives and actions of the abortion industry, especially Planned Parenthood. From its inception, the abortion industry has sought to control and hinder the growth of the Black population, a core objective of the movement’s founders.”
Star Parker and fellow leaders refute appellants’ argument that racism and systemic discrimination are justification for publicly funded abortions, arguing that such a policy “means hurting the Black Women and communities that they claim to serve . . . If our goal is to improve access to beneficial healthcare for Black communities, abortion is not the way.”
This report seeks to examine this issue in the hope that Congress and state legislatures investigate the physical, legal, cultural, and economic harm abortion has caused to our nation – including the Black community. We also urge Congress and the states to take the initiative to protect unborn children of all races to the maximum extent possible, especially as the courts release legislatures from outdated and erroneous legal precedents.
The Abortion Consumer
Disproportionately, the leading consumer of abortion services is the African-American female. According to the United States Census Bureau and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC)6 Abortion Surveillance Report7, black women made up 15 percent of the childbearing population in 2018, yet obtained 33.6 percent of reported abortions. Black women have the highest abortion ratio in the country, with 335 abortions per 1,000 live births. Percentages at these levels illustrate that about 20 million black babies have been aborted since 1973.8
According to CDC, states that report abortion by ethnicity show black women disproportionately lead in the numbers. For example, in Mississippi, 72 percent of abortions are obtained by black women; in Washington, D.C., 55 percent; in Michigan, 50 percent; in Alabama, 62 percent. In many states, similar numbers are found, with black women often aborting at two or more times their presence in the population.9
The prevalence of abortion facilities within and near minority communities serves as a major contributor to the rate at which black women obtain abortions. Accordingly, black women are significantly more likely to have an abortion than white women.10
A 2012 study released by Protecting Black Life, an outreach of Life Issues Institute, used 2010 Census data to conclude that, “79% of Planned Parenthood’s surgical abortion facilities are strategically located within walking distance of African-American and/or Hispanic communities.”11
In 2017, Life Issues Institute analyzed Planned Parenthood’s placement of 25 new abortion mega centers and concluded that all of the facilities were within walking distance of minority neighborhoods. The Institute further stated that, “80 percent target black communities.”12
The findings of these studies arguably coincide with historical revelations that eugenicists – dating to the mid-1900s – believed that one of the most effective ways they could advance their agenda would be to concentrate population control facilities within targeted communities.13
The advocacy for continued funding of organizations like Planned Parenthood demeans and undermines the concept of natural rights and denies the right to life to the most vulnerable of all, the unborn child. Establishing abortion as such a cultural norm undermines the natural rights of the elderly and the infirm. If the powerful can determine that the unborn child does not have a natural, self-evident right to live, then it is possible that they can and will determine that certain other humans no longer possess those rights.
The Population Control Nexus
Abortion has been used as part of the population control agenda. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg reminded the nation of this in her 2009 New York Times Magazine interview when she said, “Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of,”14 and she was historically accurate. President Richard Nixon declared birth control for low-income women to be a “national goal” in 1969 before signing the first federal birth control program into law in 1970.15 Nixon also cited concerns about controlling the black population in conversations with White House staff that were recorded during his presidency. Some examples follow:
A majority of people in Colorado voted for abortion. I think a majority of people in Michigan are for abortion. I think in both cases, well, certainly in Michigan they will vote for it because they think that what’s going to be aborted generally are the little black bastards16. . . As I told you – we talked about it earlier – that a hell of a lot of people want to control the Negro bastards17 . . . People who don’t control their families are people in – the people that shouldn’t have kids.18
These are sentiments Nixon expressed during his presidency that may provide context about his thinking when he announced the conclusions and recommendations of the 1969 Population Control Commission, headed by John D. Rockefeller.19
The Racist and Eugenic Roots of the Abortion Movement
It is no accident that abortion has become so deeply entrenched within the black community. Margaret Sanger, a founder of the American birth control movement and the organization that is now known as the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), was a leading spokesperson and activist in the promotion of controlling the birth rate among blacks and others she considered undesirable.
In 1926, Sanger made a speech on birth control to a women’s auxiliary branch of the Ku Klux Klan in Silver Lake, New Jersey.20 She endorsed the 1927 Buck v. Bell Supreme Court decision, in which the Court ruled that states could forcibly sterilize people deemed “unfit” without their consent and sometimes without their knowledge.21
In 1939, Sanger co-authored a report, “Birth Control and the Negro,” which stated that “[N]egroes present the great problem of the South,” and advocated for a birth control program geared toward a population characterized as largely illiterate and that “still breed carelessly and disastrously.”22
A supporter of eugenics, Sanger became a formidable force when pushing her “Negro Project” designed to employ black leaders to promote birth control and limit the black population.
Sanger recruited black pastors to persuade minority women to use contraceptive birth control. “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members,” she said.23
She favored the Malthusian view of birth control and said it “aims to introduce into the creation of the next generation of American citizens the sound and scientific principles observed by the gardener and the agriculturists.”24 In an article entitled High Lights in the History of Birth Control, Sanger wrote:
Birth control does not mean contraception indiscriminately practised. It means the release and cultivation of the better elements in our society, and the gradual suppression, elimination, and eventual extinction, of defective stocks – those human weeds which threaten the blooming and the finest flowers of American civilization.25
Heavily relying on members of the black elite to help craft her message, “The Negro Project,” influenced respected black leaders, enticing them to Sanger’s cause. Although leaders such as Marcus Garvey strongly denounced birth control and abortion as detrimental to the survival of the black race, other black leaders and organizations supported Sanger. They included W.E.B. DuBois, the first black American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University and a founding member of the NAACP; Adam Clayton Powell Jr., pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem; and Mary McLeod Bethune, founder of the National Council of Negro Women.26
Sanger’s organization continues in this vein, persuading those whom blacks trust that Planned Parenthood is for the benefit of the black race. Today, the growing list of advocates for abortion includes Jesse Jackson,27 Al Sharpton,28 the entire Congressional Black Caucus,29 2018 Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams,30 former President Barack Obama31 – who vigorously resisted any regulation of the most unregulated industry in the nation – and Vice President Kamala Harris, who as a candidate for president, called for every state or local abortion limitation or regulation to be submitted to the U.S. Justice Department for review.32As a senator, Kamala Harris co-sponsored the Women’s Health Protection Act. This legislation would eliminate any basic requirement prior to the performance of an abortion, such as parental notification or a waiting period. It also would eliminate the protections for nurses and doctors who do not want to participate in abortion procedures.33
Ironically, Jesse Jackson had previously been strongly pro-life. In a 1977 essay in National Right to Life News, Jackson said:
Politicians argue for abortion largely because they do not want to spend the necessary money to feed, clothe and educate more people. Here arguments for inconvenience and economic savings take precedence over arguments for human value and human life… Psychiatrists, social workers and doctors often argue for abortion on the basis that the child will grow up mentally and emotionally scarred. But who of us is complete? If incompleteness were the criteri(on) for taking life, we would all be dead. If you can justify abortion on the basis of emotional incompleteness, then your logic could also lead you to killing for other forms of incompleteness — blindness, crippleness, old age.34
Louisiana State Senator Katrina Jackson, an African-American Democrat and member of Louisiana’s Legislative Women’s Caucus and Legislative Black Caucus, does not conform to the profile Planned Parenthood and other abortion advocates seek to project for Black leaders. Senator Jackson aligns with liberal Democrat colleagues on many issues but has sponsored pro-life legislation because she believes abortion is “a modern-day genocide.”35
In their 2018 endorsement of Stacey Abrams, Planned Parenthood called her an “unwavering champion for reproductive health and rights.” Abrams responded by saying she would not “whisper” her ‘pro-choice’ position, stating instead that her support for abortion would be a “proud and central facet” of her campaign.36
Planned Parenthood also utilizes cultural icons to sell its message to the black community. In August 2019, Planned Parenthood published a letter signed by some of the most prominent black artists of the day including Nicki Minaj, Lizzo, and John Legend.37 They backed a national campaign with the slogan #BansOffMyBody, protesting the anti-abortion policies enacted by the Trump administration.
Planned Parenthood and other abortion supporters have fanned their advocates across the black community, promoting a message that abortion is a necessary form of healthcare. Supported by funds from such foundations as those founded by the Fords,38 Buffets,39 Hewletts,40 Packards,41 Mercks,42 Rockefellers,43 Gates,44 Soros,45 and others, pro-abortion forces craft messages that play on the fears of some blacks that a lack of access to abortion is somehow discriminatory. Then and now, Sanger’s organization has used trusted leaders to convince the black community that abortion as a form of birth control is not only acceptable but also beneficial to African-American culture.
Margaret Sanger is not the only Planned Parenthood official with a history of supporting the eugenics movement. In 1962, Alan Guttmacher, formerly Vice President of the American Eugenics Society,46 became President of PPFA and held that position for more than 10 years. Planned Parenthood subsequently named its Center for Family Planning Program Development, which was originally within the corporate structure of PPFA, the Guttmacher Institute.47
For many years, Planned Parenthood denied its racist roots. However, in a June 18, 2020 open letter written by then-current and former staffers of Planned Parenthood of Greater New York, signatories said, “Planned Parenthood was founded by a racist white woman. That is part of history that cannot be changed.”48
In an April 2021 backgrounder entitled, “Opposition Claims About Margaret Sanger,” PPFA acknowledged that Margaret Sanger “chose to align herself with ideologies and organizations that were explicitly ableist and white supremacist.” In doing so, Sanger “caused irreparable damage to the health and lives of generations of Black people, Latino people, Indigenous people, immigrants, people with disabilities, people with low incomes, and many others,” PPFA said.
In an opinion article published in The New York Times on April 17, 2021, PPFA Director Alexis McGill Johnson acknowledged Planned Parenthood’s racist roots and eugenic mission. “It’s a question that we’ve tried to avoid, but we no longer can,” Johnson said. She admitted that Planned Parenthood had excused Sanger’s “association with white supremacist groups and eugenics . . . always being sure to name her work alongside that of W.E.B. Dubois and other Black freedom fighters.”49
Johnson acknowledged that Sanger cultivated connections with the Ku Klux Klan and endorsed a Supreme Court decision that “allowed states to sterilize people deemed ‘unfit’ without their consent and sometimes without their knowledge – a ruling that led to the sterilization of tens of thousands of people in the 20th century.”50
Dr. Alveda King’s words ring true in light of the repellent and racist beginnings of Planned Parenthood. The question must be asked, how has this affected the black community and where has this led our political leaders?
Political Ramifications of Abortion on the Black Community and the Nation
On March 6, 1857, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney handed down the Court’s decision in the infamous case of Dred Scott v. Sandford. In 1846, Dred Scott and his wife, Harriet, had been slaves residing, with their masters, in free territories for almost nine years. Being prompted by their friends and local minister, Dred Scott sued for their freedom.
After several years of litigation, the Scotts finally appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court’s decision stated that the Scotts were to remain slaves regardless of their place of residence. However, Chief Justice Taney did not stop there. He further stated that since Dred Scott was not a citizen of the U.S., he could not bring suit in federal courts regardless of the issue. Furthermore, Taney made it clear that slaves were no more than personal property, and, subsequently, had no ability to lay claim on freedom.51
By 1860, the overall slave population was close to four million. Within the seven states of the Confederacy, slaves constituted 47 percent of their overall population.52 In South Carolina, the state with the largest percentage of slaves per capita, slaves constituted 57 percent of the state population.53
When slavery ended, whites began instituting laws that required blacks to be able to read and write to be eligible to vote and to curtail the possibility of a sudden influx of blacks running for political office. Since almost the entire former slave population had neither skill, blacks were effectively shut out of the political process, preventing them from passing laws more equitable to all races.
A legal wall of separation between blacks and whites deemed blacks as inferior, not worthy of even occupying the same space as whites unless it was in the role of a servant. This dichotomy in the culture continued until the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Eugenicists, however, did not help heal the racial divide in America. Their objective, as we infer from Nixon’s comments, was to remove obstacles to abortion, particularly in communities “we don’t want too many of,” as Justice Ginsburg said.54
Such a high frequency of abortion within the black community inevitably creates far-reaching consequences, not only on the women who have obtained abortions, but also on the entire population. Census results reveal one such consequence, stating that African-Americans have been surpassed by Hispanics as the largest minority group in the U.S.55
Michael Novak, the former George F. Jewett scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, had the following to say in 2002 regarding the political and social ramifications of abortion on African-American society: “Since the number of current living blacks (in the U.S.) is 36 million, the missing 16 million represents an enormous loss, for without abortion, America’s black community would now number 52 million persons. It would be 36 percent larger than it is. Abortion has swept through the black community like a scythe, cutting down every fourth member.”56 Consider this: if those 16 million children had not been aborted, the black population at that point would have been 17 percent nationally rather than 13 percent.57 Blacks who yearn for political change must recognize that the majority of their civic leaders support policies that destroy their future constituency. It is not beyond reason to conclude that today there could be more black senators and representatives in the halls of Congress had it not been for the abortion platform supported by so many liberal black and white leaders. Today, as a result of abortion, blacks have been prevented from gaining greater political opportunity.
Natural Rights vs. Court Decisions
Since the 17th-century emergence of critical thinker John Locke, the debate about natural rights has raged, and questions abound on the government’s involvement in protecting life, liberty, and property. In order to avoid the question of government protection for life in the womb, the Supreme Court accepted arguments that the child in utero is not life until it reaches the level of viability, which they said happens after the second trimester. Like slavery, tension was created in the public square concerning who “qualifies” for natural rights and the protection it affords. In the 1850s, it was the black slave who sought freedom and equal protection under the law. Today it is the unborn child.
If the baby in utero is not a human being in the fullest sense of that term, then he or she has no natural right to life. However, if the opposite is true, then the unborn child is entitled to the right to life. Given the advent of ultrasound and other medical devices that make it abundantly clear that the baby in utero is life and indeed human, the natural rights of the baby has been an ongoing topic of discussion in the corridors of Congress and the halls of federal courts.
William Saunders, formerly of the Family Research Council, commenting on Professor Hadley Arkes’ Natural Rights and the Right to Choose, had this to say about the parallels between abortion and slavery:
In asserting a ‘right to choose,’ abortion proponents undermine the concept of natural right, for they deny a nature that transcends the preferences of others. Law is thus reduced to power: it secures the ‘right’ of the powerful to define who has rights, even to define who is ‘human.’ It can no more be ‘contained’ than could a ‘right to own slaves.’ It will seep into areas of care of the elderly, the infirm, and the handicapped. It has already poisoned the policy discussion where the status of the embryo (prior to implantation especially) is at stake. By reducing rights to a mere reflection of the preferences of the powerful, a ‘right to choose’ puts all rights, even those claimed by abortion proponents, at risk, because such rights are always subject to redefinition when power shifts.58
It is ironic that while the Fifteenth Amendment (1870) to the U.S. Constitution abolished discrimination based on race, a more ‘civilized’ 1973 U.S. Supreme Court discriminated against the life of the unborn child, handing down a decision that stripped the most vulnerable among us of rights, once again allowing the powerful to determine exactly who had the right to life.
Attitudes in society and government have certainly evolved since the time of our nation’s inception, when a Judeo-Christian belief system was the premise for government and law. By 1973, a liberal U.S. Supreme Court wielded its power and forced all states to abolish any restrictions they might have against abortion in the same way the Supreme Court allowed the owners of Dred Scott to retain their “property” in 1857. Cultural changes in opinion often influence the federal court system over time, leaving expediency and pragmatism as the order of the day rather than honor and a genuine concern for life.
This evolution also included movement in the religious community toward a doctrine of moral relativism. The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) is but one example.
Founded by members of old-line/mainline Protestant denominations, such as Episcopalians and Presbyterians, the RCRC has targeted African-Americans in its outreach.59
As Martin Luther King, Jr. stated in Strength to Love, “The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.”60
The Horrors of Kermit Gosnell
On March 18, 2013, the trial of abortion monster Dr. Kermit Gosnell began in Philadelphia. Two months later Gosnell was convicted on three charges of murder, 21 felony counts of performing illegal late-term abortions, and 211 counts of violating the 24-hour informed consent laws. He was sentenced to life in prison.
Gosnell’s convictions reflected the tip of the iceberg of what was going on in his clinic. Until inspectors showed up in February 2010, as a result of an investigation for suspected illegal drug prescription use, Gosnell’s facility operated uninspected for 17 years. According to the grand jury report,61 the last state inspection, before the 2010 raid, had been in 1993.
Anecdotes of those who worked there suggest the scope of murder, illegal abortions, abuse of women – mostly low-income minority and immigrant women – went far beyond what could be adequately documented for the trial.
Dr. Day Gardner, Founder of the National Black Pro-Life Union, joined a coalition organized by CURE President Star Parker at a 2013 press conference in Philadelphia to call out the media for their refusal to cover the Gosnell trial and to call immediate attention to the travesty of child-killing in Philadelphia. CURE noted Dr. Gardner’s comments in a 2015 report that Star Parker submitted for the record along with her statement at a 2017 House Judiciary Committee hearing.62
Dr. Gardner said she “cringed and gnashed my teeth while sitting in the almost empty Philadelphia courtroom hearing testimony after testimony of babies screaming and screeching while being killed by Gosnell and his employees.
“I heard gruesome testimony by abortion clinic workers about how Gosnell would deliver fully developed, viable children and then turn them over to cut their spinal cords. Gosnell even joked that one baby was big enough to walk to the bus stop; he then cut that little boy’s neck and tossed him into a shoebox. It was no big deal to him – to kill these children – to slash their necks as they struggled- as they strained – as they cried,” she continued.
“If that wasn’t grotesque enough, he severed off the tiny feet of several babies and kept them – displayed in jars on a shelf as a sort of souvenir . . . Gosnell stored the bodies of children in milk jugs and large soft drink containers and juice bottles. Forty-seven babies were found frozen in a refrigerator freezer. They had to be thawed out like TV dinners so that the coroner could determine their first and last moments of life,” Dr. Gardner said.
The grand jury report also detailed horrors like those cited by Dr. Day Gardner, noting that law enforcement officials found a clinic that,
[R]eeked of animal urine, courtesy of the cats that were allowed to roam (and defecate) freely. Furniture and blankets were stained with blood. Instruments were not properly sterilized. Disposable medical supplies were not disposed of; they were reused, over and over again . . . The emergency exit was padlocked shut. And scattered throughout in cabinets, in the basement, in a freezer, in jars and bags and plastic jugs, were fetal remains.63
“A grand juror that investigated Kermit Gosnell speculated why he operated so long without getting attention,” Dr. Gardner continued. “We think the reason no one acted is because the women in question were poor and of color, because the victims were infants without identities, and because the subject was the political football of abortion,” Dr. Gardner quoted the grand juror as saying.64
Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania President, Dayle Steinberg, acknowledged at a 2013 fundraising gala that Planned Parenthood knew about the squalid conditions at Gosnell’s clinic. “Steinberg said that when Gosnell was in practice, women would sometimes come to Planned Parenthood for services after first visiting Gosnell’s West Philadelphia clinic, and would complain to staff about conditions there,” the Philadelphia Daily News reported.65 While Steinberg claims that Planned Parenthood encouraged the women to report the conditions at Gosnell’s clinic to the Department of Health, the Daily News article does not indicate that Planned Parenthood reported what they had heard.
The fact that Gosnell committed his atrocities with no regulatory oversight, and the challenges to get national media attention to his trial once it began, inspired greater determination to address these issues and the extent to which similar abuses have occurred elsewhere.
In an effort to ensure a recurrence of Gosnell was not possible, several actions were taken by Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), the House Judiciary Committee, and the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Actions taken include:
- During the Gosnell trial, on May 8, 2013, Senator Mike Lee offered a resolution, “Expressing the sense of the Senate that Congress and the States should investigate and correct abusive, unsanitary, and illegal abortion practices.”66
- The House Judiciary Committee sent letters to every state attorney general to determine whether state and local governments were being stymied in their efforts to protect the civil rights of newborns and their mothers by legal or financial obstacles that are within the federal government’s power to address.67
- The House Energy and Commerce Committee sent letters to each state health officer requesting that they provide information on how they regulate and monitor abortion clinics to protect the health and safety of women.68
Despite these congressional actions, the states were largely unresponsive to the calls for action. Accordingly, CURE organized strategic steps to provide a voice for the voiceless.
The National Black Pro-life Coalition, Protecting Black Life, and the National Black Pro-life Union joined with CURE to meet with Senate staff members to discuss how to move the ball forward and begin legislative hearings that had been requested the previous year. The meeting focused on adding penalties to the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002.69
The born-alive bill was originally signed into law by President George W. Bush after passing unanimously in the Democrat-controlled Senate. It outlaws the killing of infants born during late-term procedures—what Gosnell was doing. However, it does not invoke specific criminal or civil penalties when violated. The civil rights divisions of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have the authority to act when born-alive violations occur, but it requires a commitment on the part of the president and the cabinet officials at those departments.
In September 2020, President Donald Trump signed an executive order70 to ensure that newborns, regardless of the circumstance of their birth, receive the care they deserve. The order required that if a child is born alive during an abortion, it must be given the same level of medical care as would be afforded any other child born alive at the same age.
CURE and our allies have continued to press for pro-life initiatives at the federal and state level. The Obama administration was hostile to any pro-life protections throughout his eight-year tenure, but President Trump took numerous executive actions to protect life and the conscience rights of pro-life medical personnel.
Trump Administration Protects Life and Conscience Rights
In May 2019, the Trump administration’s HHS issued regulations to strengthen enforcement of federal laws protecting the conscience rights of health care workers who refuse to participate in abortion procedures. The regulations clarified the legal rights of victims of conscience discrimination and described the penalties the HHS Office for Civil Rights could enforce for such violations.71
In January 2018, the administration rescinded Obama administration guidance that sought to prevent states from defunding Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers of Medicaid dollars. The new Trump guidance allowed states to direct Medicaid dollars as they deemed appropriate, including by withholding them from abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.72
In June 2019, HHS and the National Institutes of Health announced they would not renew a previously approved contract with the University of California, San Francisco to fund research using the body parts of aborted babies.73
The Trump administration provided private employers and educational institutions relief from an Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) mandate that forced moral and religious objectors, such as Little Sisters of the Poor, to provide health insurance coverage for contraceptives or abortifacient drugs.74
Protecting life in global health policy was another area in which President Trump took strong action. He restored and expanded the Mexico City Policy, which prevents U.S. taxpayer dollars from going to foreign non-governmental organizations that perform or promote abortion as a method of family planning.75 President Trump also followed through on commitments to appoint pro-life judges to the federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.76 As pro-life governors and legislatures in Texas, Mississippi, and other states across the country have passed laws to protect life at certain stages of development, the issue has once again made its way to the highest levels of the federal judiciary, including the U.S. Supreme Court.77
Biden Embarks on Extreme Abortion Agenda
As a candidate for president in 2019, Joe Biden abandoned his 43-year record of supporting the Hyde Amendment.78 Hyde prevents taxpayer funds from being used to pay for abortions in most circumstances and it was followed by amendments to protect the conscience rights of medical personnel who refuse to participate in the performance of abortions.
Upon being elected president in 2020, Biden appointed strong abortion advocates to lead HHS, DOJ, and other federal agencies.79 They have reversed virtually all of Trump’s pro-life executive actions and embarked on an effort to embed support for abortion in a wide range of federal programs, including efforts to promote abortion internationally.
Biden’s allies in Congress are seeking to strip the Hyde Amendment and all other pro-life provisions out of the appropriations bills that fund a broad range of federal health and human services programs. The largest of these programs – Medicaid – provides support for low-income Americans. Repeal of the Hyde Amendment would have a disproportionate impact on black and other minority unborn babies.
In March of 2021 the Biden administration got their COVID rescue plan through Congress, which included $50 million for Title X family planning providers.80 This constituted a reversal of the Trump administration’s ban on federal funding for Title X providers. During his first month in office President Biden signed an executive order that stated he would, “reverse my predecessor’s attack on women’s health access” and “undo the damage that Trump has done81.” In reality, the Biden administration is pushing one of the most extreme abortion policies in history. He also reversed the Trump administration’s Mexico City Policy, once again allowing U.S. foreign aid to fund international abortions.82
On November 8, 2021, the Biden administration reversed the previous ban on federal funding to Title X providers that refer patients for abortions.83 Biden has effectively overturned almost every pro-life policy put in place by the Trump administration, pushing abortion to the forefront of his administration’s agenda.
Abortion Advocates Push for a National Right to Abortion
Abortion advocates in Congress are also pushing legislation to lock in a national right to abortion and block enforcement of virtually every pro-life provision enacted at the state and local level – including measures that seek to prevent sex-selection or race-based abortions. H.R. 3755, the deceptively named “Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021,”84 advances the false narrative that abortion on demand is health care, demonizes those who recognize the scientific reality of human life in the womb, undermines religious freedom, and injects the federal government into an area of state jurisdiction.
H.R. 3755 would override the judgment of every state legislature in America and impose a national regime of abortion on demand up until the moment of birth. While the bill purports to address abortion prior to “viability,” it cites a judicially-created “health” exception that encompasses any kind of social or emotional circumstance to eviscerate any state limitation on abortion after viability (effectively up until the moment of birth).
This bill would eliminate even the most modest and publicly-supported provisions like parental notification laws and it would preempt application of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act – a bill that was sponsored in the House by now-Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and passed in the House by unanimous consent, passed the Senate by a vote of 97-3, and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.85
While H.R. 3755 attributes good faith to late-term abortion practitioners, it seeks to link pro-life Americans to “systems of oppression . . . white supremacy, and anti-Black racism.”86 This inflammatory rhetoric is especially ironic when you consider that the largest abortion provider in America – Planned Parenthood – has a history of targeting black women in economically distressed communities and was founded by an avowed eugenicist who wanted to eliminate “human weeds” from American civilization. Conversely, pro-life Americans have established thousands of pregnancy centers to provide compassionate support to women and their babies, before and after they are born.
The protection of human life is the first obligation of every level of government. As scientific understanding of life in utero has advanced, it is appropriate for state and federal legislators to widen the circle of protection for every American. It is also appropriate that these advances have coincided with enhanced civil rights protections for people of every race, ethnicity and religion.
H.R. 3755 seeks to divide Americans along lines of race and gender, and intrudes into areas that are not the appropriate domain of the federal government. Instead, we should be coming together in common purpose to build upon scientific and societal achievements – and to protect human life and dignity.
Sadly, this radical bill passed the House of Representatives on September 24, 2021 by a vote of 218-211.87 Like Joe Biden, his party members in Congress are nearly unanimous in supporting this type of radical legislation and Biden has said he will sign it if it reaches his desk. Only one House Democrat, Henry Cuellar (D-TX), voted against H.R. 3755 and every member of the Congressional Black Caucus (except one who didn’t vote) supported it. House Republicans were unanimous (210-0) in opposing the bill.
A companion bill in the U.S. Senate, S. 1975,88 was introduced with the support of 48 Democrat caucus senators, including two black senators, Raphael Warnock (D-GA; also a Baptist pastor), and Corey Booker (D-NJ). Fortunately, the withholding of sponsorship by two Democrat senators – Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Robert Casey (D-PA) – and also by every Senate Republican, suggests there is not currently a majority in the 100-member Senate for this extreme legislation.
The Senate’s filibuster rule, which requires 60 votes to proceed to most legislation, provides an additional layer of protection for the time being. Only two Democrat senators – Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), have publicly committed89 to maintain the legislative filibuster (despite fierce pressure from grassroots and congressional ‘progressives’ to eliminate it), so the protective barrier against radical legislation like H.R. 3755/S. 1975 getting enacted into law is in serious need of strengthening.
Abortion Pills Shift the Battle Over Protecting Unborn Life
For years, Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers focused on building mega-clinics that could perform thousands of abortions per year. They have also promoted the availability of abortion on college campuses and in high schools, where many school officials have provided them access to the students.
Increasingly, abortion proponents have shifted their focus to making abortion pills more widely available. “It’s very clear with everything that’s been happening in the past few years within the abortion industry, that they’re trying to change the model,” says Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins. “Especially when you’re distributing these drugs on college campuses or via webcam, you don’t have to operate a facility that’s going to have people praying in front of it.”90
In 2000, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the abortion pill mifepristone for distribution in the United States. The French company Roussel-Uclaf developed mifepristone – commonly known as RU-486 – in 1980. Great Britain approved mifepristone for abortion in 1991 and Sweden in 1992.91
Due to opposition from pro-life groups in the United States, the Population Council sought to find a large drug company willing to develop mifepristone for the U.S. market. In 1995, the Population Council gave the rights to distribute mifepristone to Danco Laboratories, a small company formed specifically for this purpose. Danco then sought FDA approval of the drug for distribution in the United States92 and ultimately received that approval near the end of the Clinton Administration in 2000.
Under the terms of the FDA approval, retail pharmacists were prohibited from stocking and distributing mifepristone. Instead, the FDA required that mifepristone be dispensed in a doctor’s office, clinic, or hospital registered with the drug manufacturer.93
In 2016, during the final days of the Obama administration, the FDA loosened restrictions on mifepristone and approved a research study on telemedicine abortion.94 The Guttmacher Institute, originally a research affiliate of Planned Parenthood, reports that in 2017, medication abortion accounted for 39 percent of all abortions in the United States.95 The Charlotte Lozier Institute, a research and education institute of the Susan B. Anthony List, estimates that chemical abortions accounted for 44 percent of all U.S. abortions in 2019 and says preliminary data for 2020 shows the rate increasing further.96 These numbers are likely higher because they don’t include self-managed abortions (SMA), many of which involve abortion pills administered at home or in other non-medical settings. According to a study reported by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the prevalence of SMA among Black women is nearly three times greater than among Non-Hispanic White women.97
Abortion advocates have been pushing for widespread availability of medication abortions through pharmacies and by mail, and to allow a wide range of medical personnel to oversee their use via telemedicine rather than in person. However, in 2021, 33 states only allowed physicians to provide medication abortion and 19 states required abortions to be provided in person.98
The COVID-19 pandemic created an opportunity for advocates to argue that in-person abortion requirements increase transmission risk. On July 13, 2020, a district court suspended the FDA’s in-person dispensing requirement on mifepristone for the duration of the pandemic.
Undeterred by the district court’s action, 23 pro-life leaders sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn on July 28, 2020 urging him to exercise his statutory authority to remove the abortion pill (mifepristone) from the U.S. market by declaring it an “imminent hazard to the public health” that poses a “significant threat of danger.” They further argued that abortion industry advocates were “using the coronavirus pandemic as a ruse” to challenge the FDA’s abortion pill safety protocols in federal court.
Signers of the letter included several prominent black leaders: Ryan Bomberger, Co-Founder of the Radiance Foundation; Dean Nelson, Executive Director of Human Coalition Action; Alveda King, then Executive Director of Civil Rights for the Unborn at Priests for Life; Roland Warren, President of Care Net; and Catherine Davis, President of the Restoration Project.
Citing the FDA’s event reporting system, the pro-life leaders said, “the abortion pill has resulted in over 4,000 reported adverse events since 2000, including 24 maternal deaths.” They further stated that adverse events “are notoriously underreported to the FDA . . . Manufacturers gather this information from the prescribers, such as Planned Parenthood facilities. Yet, women who experience side effects like heavy bleeding, abdominal pain, or severe infections are likely to seek care at emergency rooms, not the abortion facilities where they received the pills. Since emergency rooms are not required to report abortion pill adverse events to the FDA, the true number of adverse events is impossible to assess.”99
On January 12, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court approved a Trump administration application for a stay of the district court opinion. Citing previous decisions of the Supreme Court concerning government responses to the pandemic, Chief Justice John Roberts said that, “courts owe significant deference to the politically accountable entities with the ‘background, competence, and expertise to access public health.’ In light of those considerations, I do not see a sufficient basis here for the District Court to compel the FDA to alter the regimen for medical abortion,” Chief Justice Roberts concluded.100
Shortly after the Biden administration assumed office, they reversed the Trump administration policy that had been upheld by the Supreme Court. In an April 12, 2021 letter, Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock informed the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) that her agency was allowing patients to receive abortion pills via telemedicine and through the mail to keep people safe from contracting the coronavirus.101
ACOG, along with the American Medical Association and other groups, welcomed the COVID-related action by the FDA and continued to push for the federal rules on dispensing abortion pills to be loosened permanently.102 Destiny Lopez, co-president of All* Above All, made a racial argument in pressing the Biden administration to loosen federal rules for abortion pills. “Medication abortion is part of that fight for abortion justice,” she said, “because we know that the barriers that folks face are rooted in systemic racism and reflect ongoing inequities in our healthcare system.”103
On December 16, 2021, the FDA eliminated the longstanding federal regulations against mail-order abortion drugs. The FDA’s action also means abortion pills can be prescribed through telehealth consultations.104
Susan B. Anthony List State Policy Director Sue Liebel condemned the FDA’s action.
The Biden administration’s reckless move puts countless women and unborn children in danger. Abortion activists’ longtime wish has been to turn every post office and pharmacy into an abortion center. They promote abortion drugs as easy, painless and private. Science says otherwise. Women who take chemical abortion pills are significantly more at risk of serious complications and more likely to require a visit to the emergency room. Some women even die. Already-exhausted ER doctors and nurses will be forced to ‘clean up after’ an abortion industry that puts profits before safety and won’t regulate itself – all to please Biden’s radical base and pay back political allies, Liebel said.
Seeking to counter the FDA’s action, Liebel called on pro-life leaders at both the state and federal level to enact safeguards into law. “Legislators nationwide should act urgently to protect vulnerable women and children,” Liebel said.105
On January 6, 2022, the South Dakota Legislature’s Interim Rules Review Committee approved a Department of Health rule to block the distribution of dangerous chemical abortion drugs through telemedicine in the state. Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) had signed an executive order in September 2021 directing the Department to take such action.
The rule, which the Susan B. Anthony List calls the strongest in the nation, sets the following restrictions on chemical abortion drugs:
- Declares abortion drugs may only be used when prescribed or dispensed in person with physician oversight.
- Blocks distribution of chemical abortion drugs via telemedicine.
- Ensures that informed consent laws are properly administered, including that it may be possible for a woman to reverse the effects of the procedure if she changes her mind.
- Increases reporting requirements regarding chemical abortion rates and dangerous complications.106
“Chemical abortions are four times more likely to cause a woman getting an abortion to end up in an emergency room – and we have a duty to protect the lives of those women,” said Governor Noem. “I look forward to the day when the life of every unborn child is protected in South Dakota. Until then, South Dakotans will know that if a mother uses abortion pills to end her unborn child’s life, she will not get those pills from a stranger over the internet.”107
Sadly, sales of abortion pills are increasing worldwide. The Washington Post reports that 93 percent of abortions in Sweden are medication abortions. In India, the abortion advocacy group Ipas reported in 2019 that the proportion was an estimated 73 percent.108
Pro-life leaders are understandably concerned about the trend toward medication abortions. Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-Life Action League, is worried that many people are willing to take a pill rather than undergo a surgical abortion procedure because it makes abortion seem more like “a medical procedure rather than . . . the destruction of a life. The unborn child, even at the embryonic stage, is not a tumor . . . it’s a fellow human brother or sister,” he said.109
Supreme Court Hears Arguments on State Abortion Laws
On November 1, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the “Texas Heartbeat Act.” The law protects unborn children at six weeks of pregnancy, the point at which a child’s heart begins to beat. Enforcement of the law rests on the actions of private citizens, rather than the government. While the woman seeking the abortion can’t be sued, the law authorizes private citizens to file lawsuits against anyone who performs or facilitates the abortion. Plaintiffs bringing a lawsuit can receive a $10,000 payment if they prevail.110
Opponents of the law accused the State of Texas of denying a woman the right to an abortion and deputizing ‘bounty hunters’ to enforce the law. On December 10, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the heartbeat law to remain in effect and remanded the case to the District Court of Texas for further consideration of the plaintiffs’ arguments.111
Meanwhile, on December 1, 2021, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on a Mississippi law, the “Gestational Age Act,” which restricts abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy when an unborn child can feel pain. In deciding to consider Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court said it would consider one question: “Whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.”112
Pro-life advocates believe that Dobbs poses the best opportunity in decades to revisit some of the Court’s most contentious precedents on U.S. abortion law.113 The Court’s 1973 decisions in Roe v. Wade114 and Doe v. Bolton115 effectively allowed abortion up until birth, allowing even third-trimester abortions for reasons of “maternal health” and defining that term so broadly that it encompasses virtually any medical or social circumstance.
In the Supreme Court’s 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision, the Court affirmed a woman’s right to have an abortion before fetal viability but acknowledged that “the State has legitimate interests from the outset of the pregnancy in protecting the health of the woman and the life of the fetus that may become a child.” Four dissenting justices, including then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist and the late Justice Antonin Scalia, concluded that a woman’s decision to abort her unborn child is not a constitutionally protected “liberty” because “(1) the Constitution says absolutely nothing about it, and (2) the longstanding traditions of American society have permitted it to be legally proscribed.”116
Several deaths and retirements since the Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision changed the makeup of the Court that heard arguments in Mississippi’s Dobbs case. “A decision finding the Mississippi law constitutional will fundamentally change the abortion regime in our country,” Star Parker said.117
The Biden administration’s Office of the Solicitor General, an agency of the U.S. Department of Justice tasked with litigating the interests of the U.S. government before the Supreme Court and in all federal appellate courts, sought the Supreme Court’s approval to participate in the December 1, 2021, oral argument for the Dobbs case, and the Court granted their request. “In light of the substantial federal interest in the proper interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment and principles of stare decisis [a legal doctrine that obligates courts to follow legal precedents when ruling on a similar case], the United States’ participation at oral argument would materially assist the Court in its consideration of this case,” the Solicitor General argued.118
Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar faced tough questioning from Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Samuel Alito in defending the Biden administration’s stare decisis argument for striking down the Mississippi law and reaffirming the Supreme Court’s Roe and Casey precedents.119
“If you think about some of the most important cases, the most consequential cases in the Court’s history, there’s a string of them where the cases overruled precedent,” Justice Kavanaugh said. He cited the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, in which the Court overruled the ‘separate but equal’ doctrine enunciated in Plessy v. Ferguson 58 years earlier. Kavanaugh went on to cite precedent-defying decisions on one person/one vote, states’ authority to regulate business, requiring police officers to inform people being arrested about their right to remain silent, the right to counsel in criminal cases, and others.120
Justice Alito pressed Solicitor General Prelogar further on Plessy v. Ferguson. He ultimately got Prelogar to acknowledge that Plessy should have been overruled – even if it was reconsidered as soon as one year later and no facts had changed – because “the factual premise was wrong at the moment it was decided.”121
Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch urged the Court to reverse Roe and return the issue to state legislatures. In a USA Today opinion article,122 Fitch said, “The Supreme Court thought it was settling the abortion debate in 1973 with Roe v. Wade. But abortion policy has been unsettled ever since.”
Fitch said, “A lot has changed in five decades, but the court has kept states from evaluating those changes. In 1973, viability was thought to be at 28 weeks. Today, many mothers breathe a sigh of relief when they pass 22 weeks in their pregnancies.” She went on to highlight the case of a baby boy who was born at 21 weeks and two days, and had just celebrated his first birthday. She called ‘viability’ an “arbitrary line that produces arbitrary results. Science and medicine will only continue marching forward, making that line an increasingly unreliable standard. Abortion policy should not remain tethered to it,” she said.
Attorney General Fitch went on to say, “Equal opportunity laws, largely passed in a post-Roe world, prohibit pregnancy employment discrimination.” She noted that the gig economy “has opened up options for freelance, part-time work and independent contracting . . . Women don’t have to choose between a child and a career. As a single, working mother who raised three children and became Mississippi’s first female attorney general, I can attest to that,” Fitch continued.
Fitch called on the Supreme Court “to release states from outdated legal precedents. We are asking the court to affirm Mississippi’s right to act on legitimate interests of life and women’s health. The court credits states with important interests, but the stale legal precedents of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey do not allow them to advance those interests,” she argued.
The Mississippi Attorney General called on the Supreme Court to follow “the straightforward path laid out by the Constitution and 200 years of its own legal reasoning” and “return decision-making about abortion policy to the people. In doing so, we can have a future where the interests of mothers and babies are no longer pitted against one another, a future that recognizes generations of progress for women in society. A favorable ruling will allow the people to empower women and promote life,” Fitch concluded.
In an Amici Curiae brief filed for the Dobbs case, African-American, Hispanic, Roman Catholic, and Protestant religious and civil rights organizations and leaders123 said the Supreme Court should be “deeply troubled” by the district court’s prior handling of the case. The district court said that the Mississippi law represented the “old Mississippi” that was “bent on controlling women and minorities.”
Aligning themselves strongly with a rebuke of the district court’s statement by Judge Ho in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the pro-life organizations and leaders – including Frederick Douglass Foundation Chairman Dean Nelson and Speak for Life Founder Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – said the district court’s conclusion that a state’s interest in protecting the lives of the unborn is racist “is particularly noxious, considering the racial history of abortion advocacy as a tool of the eugenics movement.” They went on to argue that, “States have a compelling interest in preventing abortion from becoming a tool of modern-day eugenics . . . this case [Dobbs] is an ideal vehicle for the [Supreme] Court to finally overrule Roe v. Wade and its progeny, which have constitutionalized eugenic abortions as a fundamental right.”
Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers
As the U.S. Supreme Court considers the constitutionality of state legislation to provide greater protections for unborn human life, the number of pro-life pregnancy centers continues to grow. According to the Charlotte Lozier Institute, there are approximately 3,000 of these centers nationwide.124
The pregnancy centers provide practical assistance and medical referrals, pregnancy testing, prenatal care and education, ultrasounds, counseling, and more to women and families with immediate and ongoing needs related to an unexpected pregnancy. They receive most of their funding from private sources and provide women with education on such topics as parenting or adoption. The centers also provide care and assistance to women struggling after an abortion or post-pregnancy practical needs like diapers or baby clothes. A study utilizing 2019 data showed that these centers served 2 million people; two of the largest national networks – Care Net and Heartbeat International – had 99% patient satisfaction ratings.125
Despite high ratings, a recent study showed that African-American women were the least likely to visit pro-life pregnancy centers.126 This may be due to pro-abortion activists propagating false claims regarding the centers. In 2018, Essence magazine – a black women’s lifestyle magazine – ran an in-depth article shunning the centers, calling them “fake” and “deceptive.”127 Dozens of similar articles appear with a simple Google search, spreading propaganda about pregnancy centers. According to a study by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, “Pervasive attacks against pregnancy centers in academia have increased over the past decade. Efforts to demonstrate and validate the essential, highly valuable, and impactful care provided at centers remain vitally important to protect the life-saving work they do.”128
It is imperative that the pro-life movement focuses on the growth of pregnancy centers nationwide, as these vital lifesaving organizations are doing essential work and providing a much-needed alternative to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.
A Call to Action
Every day children of every race – but disproportionately black – are being killed by abortion in the most horrible ways imaginable. Sadly, Kermit Gosnell is not an anomaly. Pro-abortion advocates and their allies in the media seek to block exposure of this grisly reality. Too many governors, state attorneys general, and pro-abortion agency officials have no interest in investigating or regulating the abortion industry.
Planned Parenthood is America’s largest abortion provider.129 They make frequent presentations to high school students across the nation and have a very active public relations operation, as well as an aggressive political arm.
Pro-life advocates must redouble our efforts to persuade officials at all levels of government to investigate the abortion industry and redirect funds away from Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.
We must use all available media and social media outlets to inform the public about the humanity of unborn children and the reality of abortion. This includes the increasing use of abortion pills to kill unborn children. As Pro-Life Action League’s Eric Scheidler said, “The unborn child, even at the embryonic stage, is not a tumor . . . it’s a fellow human brother or sister.”
An impressive pro-life pregnancy center network130 already exists but we must do more to expand and strengthen it. Churches and faith-based organizations are crucial to this effort, so they should be encouraged and assisted to do more in this important area.
Policymakers at all levels of government need to do everything in their power to protect human life, inside and outside the womb. After nearly five decades of imposing abortion on our nation and blocking numerous efforts to protect the sanctity of human life, a new Supreme Court majority may soon allow legislators to fulfill their solemn legal and moral duty articulated in our nation’s founding Declaration:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.131
CURE and our many allies are determined to increase public awareness about abortion, especially in the inner-city and minority communities. Along with outreach through our clergy network, we are working to block pro-abortion legislation and build support for pro-life initiatives at the state and federal level.
We also recognize the need for strong marriages, families, and communities – and spiritual renewal throughout our nation. Abortion undermines the values of the traditional family, and traditional family values provide the off-ramp from the cycle of poverty. With God’s grace and the support of like-minded allies, CURE’s team will carry these messages to those most in need of hearing them and will help those in need of special care to navigate difficult circumstances.
The Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE) is a policy institute that addresses issues of race and poverty from a Christian conservative perspective. Our objective is to build awareness that the conservative principles of traditional values, limited government, and private ownership is of greatest marginal benefit to low income peoples. We explore and promote market-based public policies to fight poverty within the political process to protect one’s purposes and pursuits—not to plunder them. We seek to preserve unborn life, traditional mores, free enterprise, parental rights, and private property.
Star Parker, Founder & President
CURE was founded by Star Parker in 1995. Parker holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and International Business from Woodbury University and has received numerous awards and commendations for her work on public policy issues. In 2016, CPAC honored her as the “Ronald Reagan Foot Soldier of the Year.” In 2017, Star was the recipient of the Groundswell Impact award, and in 2018, Bott Radio Network presented Star with its annual Queen Esther award.
Serving on the National Religious Broadcasters Board of Directors and the Board of Directors at the Leadership Institute, Star is active in helping other organizations that impact the culture, particularly for younger generations. To date, Star has spoken on more than 225 college campuses, including Harvard, Berkeley, Emory, Liberty, Franciscan, UCLA, and the University of Virginia.
She is a regular commentator on national television and radio networks including the BBC, EWTN, and FOX News, and the author of four books: Necessary Noise: How Donald Trump Inflames the Culture War and Why This Is Good News for America (2019); Uncle Sam’s Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America’s Poor and What We Can Do About It (2003/2012); White Ghetto: How Middle-Class America Reflects Inner City Decay (2006); and Pimps, Whores and Welfare Brats: From Welfare Cheat to Conservative Messenger (1997).
Marty Dannenfelser, Director of Governmental Relations
Marty Dannenfelser is Director of Governmental Relations for CURE. He tracks proposals from the White House, executive branch agencies, Capitol Hill, and the policy community—particularly as they relate to culture, race, and poverty—and shares CURE’s ideas on free markets, religious freedom, personal responsibility, and other policy matters.
Dannenfelser previously served as the presidentially appointed Staff Director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and as Senior Policy Advisor at the White House Office of Public Liaison. He has served in senior policy, government relations, and external relations positions with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Energy. Dannenfelser has also served as Senior Policy Advisor and Coalitions Director for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and as Legislative Director for a Member of Congress.