In a hearing on Capitol Hill, a white Democrat shouted down a black woman when she told a House subcommittee that abortion is the "leading cause of death in the black community today." Star Parker, a leading black pro-life advocate testified before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice on Wednesday. The legislators are considering a bill that would prohibit abortions if a attending physician detects a viable fetal heartbeat.  

Here follows a partial transcript of Parker’s remarks:

“In fact when you put the Dred Scott decision next to the Roe v. Wade decision, they read almost verbatim. I’d like to also address something that was brought up earlier ... when it comes to mixing the abortion issue with the challenges that we face in many of our hard-hit communities.

“I feel it disingenuous that the issues of Medicaid would come up, and other opportunities for us to re-address what has happened in ... our most-distressed zip codes. The way that Planned Parenthood targets these particular zip codes with abortion. Abortion is the leading cause of death in the black community today. Since Roe v. Wade was legalized, 20 million humans have been killed inside of the womb of black women.

“And then on Halloween, Planned Parenthood tweets out that the black women are safest if they abort their child rather than bring it to term. [see below] To the gentleman from Texas who brought up Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, I think that is important that we put in record that the needs of those that are most vulnerable in society cannot be addressed with abortion. Abortion feeds a narrative that women are victims, that they have no control over their sexual impulses. 

“And the result of this narrative being forced down into our hardest-hit communities—we are seeing now recklessness in sexual activity and marriage has collapsed. In the ’50s, 70 percent of black adults were married. Today, that number is 30 percent. This is causing a lot more social pathologies that have to be addressed in different types of legislation, not the Heartbeat Bill. The Heartbeat Bill is to protect the innocent.”

In response, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), a white male, became visible angry, telling Parker, “I am not disingenuous about anything I say about Medicaid or Medicare ... or SNAP [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program] programs.”

Cohen wasn’t finished: “And to suggest I’m disingenuous shows your ignorance or your absolute inability to deal with congresspeople the way they should. I believe in those issues and I think they’re proper, and to say I’m disingenuous is just wrong and I expect an apology.”

No other Democrats asked Parker questions. Arrived late to the hearing. 

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) finally ended the hearing, noting the “lack of civility before this committee.”

The "Heartbeat Protection Act," was authored by Rep. King and would make performing an abortion a crime if the attending physician were to find a "detectable" heartbeat. The conservative Republican has acknowledged that if signed into law, the bill would probably face legal challenges all the way to the Supreme Court. 

"It is important that Congress passes such a strong pro-life bill now because President Trump will hopefully appoint one or two more justices to the Supreme Court, making this a profound moment in the pro-life movement," King said during a hearing. "President Trump is actively changing the makeup of our judicial system with strong, conservative nominees who would hear arguments on this bill while it's being challenged on the way to the Supreme Court." 

Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) praised the bill. "Since the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, medical knowledge regarding the development of unborn babies and their capacities at various stages of growth has advanced dramatically," he said. "Congress has the power, and the responsibility, to acknowledge the significance of these profound developments through the enactment of pro-life legislation."

Abortion advocates are not happy about the bill. "These decisions should be left up to a woman, in consultation with her doctor and her family — and never made for her by a politician," said Dana Singiser of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. "This attack on women’s health and rights isn’t just dangerous, it’s extremely out of touch with what the majority of Americans want from their representatives.”

On Monday, the Planned Parenthood 501(c)4 Black Community Twitter account appeared to echo the organization’s roots in the pseudo-science known as eugenics. It advised in a tweet, “If you’re a Black woman in America, it’s statistically safer to have an abortion than to carry a pregnancy to term or give birth.” Margaret Sanger, a eugenicist and ally of the Ku Klux Klan, was the founder of the American Birth Control League, the predecessor of the Planned Parenthood Federation.

See Parker's website to see her full testimony.



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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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