Tuesday, September 6th, pro-life activist Alveda King gave her personal testimony in support of life in Copley Formal. She is the niece of MLK and a prominent public figure.
In case you couldn’t make it to the event, or you want a refresher on what was said, here are the notes Richard Howell and Gabby Muñoz – RTL Media Co-Chairs – took that night.
- Her grandmother was a single mother. Her mother became pregnant in college before she married A.D. King, the brother of Martin Luther King Jr.
- She was conceived out of wedlock, though it was kept a family secret. She is thankful she was born and no other choices were made.
- Family Values
- Family values, previously, were stronger. Men were involved in the family, mothers were involved, and there were not many single families. Marriage and fidelity are important.
- Divorce is tragic and hurts both the children and parents.
- Birth Control Brigade (pre-planned parenthood)
- “The Negro Project”sterilized young African-American women so they could ‘contribute’ to their community.
- They offered information about anatomy and the reproductive system (sex ed).
- They said that if there were any “mysterious female ailments” that a woman should come to them for a DNC, a euphemism for abortion that sometimes led to confusion.
- 1966 – Margaret Sanger (founder of Planned Parenthood)
- She was well-known for saying “African Americans are like weeds, and they need to be exterminated.”
- The “Margaret Sanger” award was offered to friends of the pro-choice movement.
- They wanted to attract the African-American community, and MLK was offered the award.
- MLK accepted the award, yet had a pro-choice secretary write the speech and the acknowledgement/thank you, and he did not attend the ceremony.
- His wife was pro-choice and attended for him. MLK was pro-life, no matter how Planned Parenthood has tried to spin it.
- 1973 Alveda King had two secret abortions. One was performed without consent by overzealous doctors. It was an illegal abortion in 1970. She received her first legal abortion 1973.
- 1970: At a regular 3 month medical check up, she asked her doctor if she was pregnant. He said that she didn’t need a baby and performed an abortion procedure without drugs and without her consent.
- Later, in 1973, she had her first legal abortion.
- She claimed, “I was sad and depressed” while struggling to continue a public life as a senator and in Hollywood .
- Pills, chemicals and an operation did damage to her cervix and mammary glands. She became depressed and spiritually and mentally destroyed after her abortions.
- Mid 70s
- No longer wanted abortions for herself but continued being pro-choice in that she didn’t want to force her beliefs on others.
- Becoming pro-life
- After the seeing her son on the ultrasound and giving birth, she realized life began inside the womb.
- She realized, Planned Parenthood lied about it being a blob of cells. It was a small baby, and alive.
- What is the most important aspect of advocating for life?
- All aspects work together.
- Inform, educate, and advocate for life.
- Being compassionate to all parties involved is important.
- Most divisive part of being involved in the movement?
- Everyone in the movement believes they have the best approach and won’t work together.
- What about her family’s work had inspired her?
- Learned a lot from her father and uncle about the importance of determination and civil rights work.
- Her grandfather was very influential in her movement to the pro-life side.
- She learned the power human personality from MLK.
- Expanding access/education to contraceptives
- She prefers natural family planning.
- She thinks that there are ‘creative’ and ‘other ways’ for men and women to be intimate together that don’t necessitate contraception nor abortion.
- She believes that contraceptives are often harmful for women.
- She doesn’t believe that MLK would wish the possible harmful side effects of birth control and contraceptives on the women in his family.
- Biggest danger to civil rights today?
- Believing that there are actually races is very dangerous.
- “We are the human race. We have ethnicities, but we are the human race.”
- She believes we should celebrate our cultural differences and not be colorblind, but remember that we are all one human race in equality.
- Best way to argue for life?
- For her, personal testimony of experiences with abortion and civil rights is effective.
- “Life is important…life is sacred. Period.”
- Women’s empowerment v. pro-life
- Having a child doesn’t physically stop you from doing your life.
- She is a prime example because she had children and yet remained as active as ever.
- “Women have the right to choose to do what they do with their bodies. That is undeniable. But that baby is not a part of her body, it is a baby!”
- Women’s voice v. unborn child’s voice
- Both should be equally valued, it is not a fight. Both are valuable and alive.
- “They should sing together in concert” .
- They’re “interwoven in the fabric” of humanity.
- “The baby is with the mother” Not a part of her. “The baby is not viable for two years. It cannot care for itself. Why not, while it is outside the womb but still not viable, abort?”
- Abortion can be selfish, and too often we think only about ourselves.
- These notes only capture a shadow of the wisdom and experience exhibited in the speech Ms. King delivered that night.You can read more about her work and organization here.
Gabriella Muñoz (COL ’18) and Richard Howell (SFS ’19)
RTL Media Co-Chairs, 2016-2017