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Black Women Are Targeted By Abortion Industry, Argues Brief Filed by the Independence Law Center in Key Abortion Case

by | Dec 13, 2021 | press release | 0 comments

Today, the Independence Law Center submitted a legal brief in a case now before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court called Allegheny Reproductive Health Center v. PA Department of Human Services, which is Pennsylvania’s biggest court case on abortion in decades.

This brief was written on behalf of a host of nationally recognized organizations and leaders in the Black community, including Ryan Bomberger (The Radiance Foundation), Dr. Alveda C. King (Speak for Life), Rev. Dean Nelson (Frederick Douglass Foundation), Star Parker (, Stacy Washington (Project 21 National Advisory Council), Catherine David (The Restoration Project), Day Gardner (National Black Pro-Life Union), and Walter B. Hoye, II (Issues 4 Life Foundation).

“While the abortion industry argues that the Black community is underserved due to a lack of access to abortion, access is certainly not the problem,” states Retired Judge Cheryl Allen, Of Counsel for Independence Law Center. “Black women and their offspring are not underserved but targeted by the abortion industry, as evidenced by the fact that well over 40% of abortions in Pennsylvania are on Black women despite the Black community making up only 12% of the state’s population. To claim they’re underserved is simply untrue.”

Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry are suing the state to demand not only that the court manufacture a right to abortion into Pennsylvania’s Constitution but also to require taxpayer funding of abortions. If the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rules in favor of the abortion industry, Pennsylvania could lose existing laws that protect the life and health of mothers and preborn children. Moreover, Pennsylvania citizens would be forced to fund elective abortions with their tax dollars. 

“Pennsylvania’s Constitution contains no ‘right’ to abortion,” says Janice Martino-Gottshall, Senior Counsel for Independence Law Center. “Now Planned Parenthood wants the State Supreme Court to invent one.”

The Independence Law Center’s brief exposes the role eugenics has played in the abortion industry’s ongoing targeting of Black babies for abortion. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, openly promoted birth control as a method to reduce and bring population control to the Black population. Working with leaders of the eugenics movement, Sanger championed a birth-control plan which she entitled “The Negro Project” in response to what she saw as “the great problem of the South.” Throughout the early and mid-1990’s, Sanger advocated various forms of racially-targeted birth control which included forced sterilization. However, Margaret Sanger’s racist goals were multiplied in 1973 when abortion was legalized.  

“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…Abortion‒as weaponized against the Black population‒comes from a history of eugenics and pervasive racism, spawning a legacy that harms the Black community. If our goal is to improve access to beneficial healthcare for Black communities, abortion is not the way.” (Brief of Amici Curiae, page 3-4)

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania ruled against the abortion industry in this case back in March. No announcement has been made on when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will hear their appeal.

“Abortion is a highly lucrative and aggressively marketed industry,” adds Martino-Gottshall. “Millions are made from abortion every year and the impact of its racial targeting is clear: In New York City, where Planned Parenthood is headquartered, more black babies are aborted than are born.” 


Independence Law Center is a non-profit civil rights law firm based in Pennsylvania specializing in First Amendment issues.