(CNSNews.com) – Dr. Alveda King, niece of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., says her uncle was pro-life – a stance, she said, that is “supported fully by everything he always said.”
“Martin was a minister of God,” King told CNSNews.com. “Martin would say, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ So how is it going to be just to murder somebody and rip them up and burn them with chemicals?
“He said, ‘The Negro cannot win if he’s willing to sacrifice the futures of his children for immediate personal comfort and safety.’”
The younger King is under fire from some black activists who criticize her for taking the position that abortion endangers black youth and that her uncle was pro-life when he was alive – and would be part of the pro-life movement if he were alive today.
On Thursday, the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights denounced King for comments she has made claiming that abortion is making African-American children an “endangered species” -- and a Georgia Right to Life billboard campaign with the same message.
“The ‘Religious Right’ billboard campaign asserting that African American children are an ‘endangered species’ and Alveda King’s comparison of anti-abortion activists to ‘Freedom Riders’ have sparked outrage in the African American community,” said Rev. Carlton W. Veazey, RCAR president.
The most prominent civil rights group, the NAACP, neither opposes nor supports abortion rights, according to Hilary Shelton, Washington bureau director and senior vice president for advocacy for the NAACP. “It is not one of our agenda items,” he said.
But Shelton did tell CNSNews.com that he believes Martin Luther King, Jr. supported “a woman’s right to control her reproductive life.”
“What I know of Dr. King’s vision is Dr. King held a very strong position that didn’t speak to the issue of abortion at all. You can try to read into it if you like, but his position was that women should have control of their reproductive lives,” Shelton said.
“Our position, much like Dr. King’s, is we do support women having control over their reproductive lives,” Shelton told CNSNews.com. “They should decide when they want to have families and be involved in family planning, and very well decide when the best time is to start your family.”
Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion provider, awarded the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. its Margaret Sanger Award in 1966, and it highlights King's acceptance of that award on the organization’s Web site.
But Alveda King told CNSNews.com that the award does not prove her uncle supported abortion, and pointed out that Dr. King did not even attend the award ceremony.
“Mrs. Coretta Scott King knew that her husband, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was pro-life,” she said. “Mrs. Coretta King, who was pro-abortion, took and did read the (acceptance) speech, and accepted on behalf of her husband.”
In her analysis of the acceptance speech, Alveda King concluded -- based on the words spoken by Dr. King in his lifetime -- that the speech, and a subsequent letter thanking Planned Parenthood for the award, were not written by Dr. King.
“He did not write the speech. He did not deliver the speech,” she said. “There was a thank-you letter with what appears to be his signature on it, but he had other people who signed his letters in his office, so you can’t even really say he signed it.”
King, meanwhile, said she believes that Planned Parenthood is complicit in a decades-long movement in the United States to control the population of the black community -- and she has been vocal about the issue.
In a June 2009 documentary -- “Maafa 21: Black Genocide in 21st Century America” -- Alveda King links Planned Parenthood to the eugenics movement of population control.
“We need to remember that over 60 years ago, a man who would today be called the father of modern eugenics proposed that population-control clinics be concentrated in minority neighborhoods, and now today, the vast majority of Planned Parenthood clinics are located in our neighborhoods,” she said in the documentary. “Are we really so naïve to believe this is all a coincidence?”
According to Alveda King, in the 1960s, at the same time African-Americans began to stage protests and demonstrations for civil rights, “there began a widespread cry from inside government for legalized abortion.”
She asked: “Was that coincidence too, or could it be that when we said we would no longer sit on the back of the bus, a place was being reserved for us down at the abortion clinic?”
“Maafa 21,” produced by the Texas based pro-life group Life Dynamics Incorporated, contends that there is documentation linking Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger to the eugenics movement in America -- specifically targeting black Americans for sterilization and abortion.
The film “is about eugenics, and elitism, and well-hidden racial agendas,” according to a description of the documentary. “It’s about treachery and corruption at the highest levels of political and corporate America. It’s about things the media has been hiding and politicians don’t want you to know.”
According to Planned Parenthood, however, Sanger “consistently and firmly repudiated any racial application of eugenics principles.”
The NAACP, which also is criticized in the documentary for not speaking out on the issue of abortion in the black community, dismisses the documentary. “We have not seen any factual indications that what they’re saying is true,” Shelton told CNSNews.com. “It sounds very much like some sort of conspiracy theory.”
Alveda King disagreed. “I believe that “Maafa 21” has been thoroughly and accurately researched,” she told CNSNews.com. “And all of it is fully verified.”
King plans to speak this Saturday on the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, where Dr. King’s speech was given.
Alveda King said she will not talk about abortion at all in her speech, which she will give at a “non-political event” organized by Fox News radio and television personality Glenn Beck to pay tribute to America’s service personnel.
“I think it’s a blessing to be living in the 21st century to stand on the steps and to proclaim the principles of honor, faith, hope, and love,” she said. “That’s why I’m going.”