Eastern Michigan University students, faculty and community members gathered in Halle Library for a panel discussion on the topic of abortion titled “A Woman’s Choice?” presented by Right to Life of Michigan and EMU Students for Life.
The primary focus of the panel, which was held as one of the university’s Black History Month events, was to zero in on the prevalence of abortion in the African-American community. The audience appeared to be primarily Caucasian and older than typical college age.
Topics of discussion ranged from what the role of men is in the pro-life movement to the effects of abortion on the population.
“The black community is targeted,” panelist Brad Smith said. “If you don’t think so, you’re deceiving yourself. If you don’t understand that this is racism, then you don’t understand what racism is.”
The panelists, all of whom identified as pro-life, included Missy Parker Miller of Bethany Christian Services, an adoption agency; Iris Proctor of Arbor Vitae, an Ann Arbor-based crisis pregnancy center; Mary Logwood, a woman who had several abortions; Katie Perrotta, junior communications major and president of SFL; Brad Smith, father of a child with Trisomy 18; and Yodit Brooks of Evangel Ministries in Detroit. Deacon Dominick Pastore acted as moderator for the discussion.
“Colleges are really the battleground of the pro-life movement,” Perrotta said.
Smith argued that abortion in the U.S. is inherently prejudiced against the African-American community. He described an occasion in which Planned Parenthood placed leaflets on the doors of houses in a primarily black neighborhood and stated that the founder of the organization, Margaret Sanger, was a supporter of eugenics.
“What Hitler did was born out of Planned Parenthood and out of America,” Smith said. “Today, 80 percent of their sites are located near black population centers. There are people who want to wipe out the black population.”
SFL, a chapter of the national group Students for Life of America, describes itself as “committed to engaging their campus in the pro-life cause” and “[seeking] to challenge the legitimacy of Roe vs. Wade.”
Perrotta said that more than half of abortions in the U.S. are performed for college-aged women.
“We’ll protect seals, owls, plants—my ethnic group lost one percent of its population,” Proctor said. “To lose that difference, that’s a loss that should matter.”