Although African Americans often have been the silent minority in the fight for life, they are beginning to make their voices heard. More than 100 black faith and community leaders in Ohio released an open letter this week urging Ohioans to vote against an upcoming ballot measure that would place a right to an abortion into the state constitution.
In November, voters in Ohio will vote on Issue 1, which would enshrine abortion into the state constitution. The effort is backed by the Ohio Democratic Party, the ACLU of Ohio, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio and Ohio Women’s Alliance. Pro-life groups, such as Protect Women Ohio, have campaigned against the effort to protect abortion, warning that it would push forward the movement to have no limits on abortion in the state.
“This is not a party line vote, nor is Issue 1 a Republican or Democrat issue,” the letter said. “This is a moral issue, and for the black community in particular, it is a life-or-death matter. Only 13 percent of Ohio’s population is black, yet 48 percent of abortions in our state are performed on black women — a tragic and difficult reality that our community cannot ignore.”
.Pastor Jeff Haygood of Living Word Church in Columbus, Ohio, who signed onto the letter, said the issue is a moral question rather than a political one.
“So when we start playing God and deciding who’s worthy to be born, who’s worthy to live, I think that’s extremely dangerous,” he said. “Nobody has the right to take anyone else’s life or to prevent someone from coming into this world and living.”
He said supporting unborn life should be an opportunity for unity among Christians but some pastors are scared to speak out if their congregants voted “for people who champion abortion.”
“We’re married to the Lord, but we’re cheating with the Democrats,” Haygood said. “I believe that you speak up in courage because you are an oracle of God, you are a mouthpiece for the Lord himself. Nobody is going to like everything I say, I just want to make sure God likes what I say.”
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice