ZION, IL, May 20, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The statistics are alarming: While African-Americans make up only 13 percent of the population of the U.S., more than one-third of all babies aborted in the nation are black. By some estimates, nearly 25 percent of black children have been aborted since Roe v. Wade made the practice legal in 1973 – that’s 15 million black babies who never saw the light of day.
Abortion is so prevalent in the black community that out of all ethnic groups in America, blacks are the only group experiencing a net decrease in population. When Planned Parenthood opens a new abortion center, more often than not, it’s in a black neighborhood.
To Dr. Ashley Harrell, these figures are not just concerning, they’re outrageous. That’s why she teamed up with Church of Joy and the Sidewalk Sunday School to launch Black People Against Abortion, a Chicago-based grassroots movement by black people and for black people to spread awareness about the abortion epidemic and encourage black women to resist the abortion industry’s relentless sales pitch.
Harrell told LifeSiteNews that the movement grew naturally out of work Church of Joy and Sidewalk Sunday School were already doing to support children in the surrounding urban community.
“About three years ago, [Church of Joy] Pastor Luis Reyes said, ‘You know, we’re reaching out and advocating for children, but we’ve got to start from the womb,’” Harrell said. “And so Black People Against Abortion began as we looked at the research and found out, [black people] are leaders in abortion…even though we’re the minority group.”
“Why do we have to be first?” she asked.
Harrell added, “If someone’s going to cry out, we need to cry out – for our children, for all children, but specifically, there need to be more people of color in the fight to cry out for life.”
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Harrell told LifeSiteNews that the movement is being aimed squarely at young people, the next generation of black adults who will be making life-or-death decisions about whether to keep their babies. “Whether they’re sexually active or not, we’re trying to help this generation understand, your body is precious, and if you create life, you can be a good mother, and you can be a good father.”
Harrell said the group already has 200 to 300 young members who meet regularly and are being trained by Harrell and Reyes to value children “from the womb.” These young activists then go out into their communities and schools and promote the message of life.
“We’ve had events in the street, we’ve gone to parades,” Harrell said. “We actually go to a few middle schools in our area and pray around the flagpole, praying for life.”
She says her goal is that through her program, young black pro-life activists will find the courage they need to say to their peers, “I agree with God, and I agree with life.”
Another way Black People Against Abortion is reaching out to young people is through music and media, Harrell told LifeSiteNews. A group of four young women called “Righteous Noise” is putting out hip-hop tracks promoting purity and pro-life values, and Pastor Reyes’ daughter Maddie Rey has a television show that uses music and dancing to promote Christian morality to kids and teens.
“What we’re doing is providing music, media,” Harell explained. “We have shirts that we send out – all these tools to help this young generation know you can be pro-life, and you can glorify God with your child.”
While the group is currently based in the Chicago area, Harrell says she’d love to see the movement spread around the nation. “We’re willing to go to college campuses, we go to churches, we go to expos and events around the nation,” she said. “We’re willing to train up others who in their community want to make a difference.”
“This is a grassroots effort,” Harrell added. “It doesn’t take a lot. It takes people just to be concerned, and to be willing to go out and be bold.”
For more information about getting involved with Black People Against Abortion, visit their webpage by clicking here.