It was a day full of historical significance, a day ripe with hope for a different future.
It was the 158th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, thereby freeing slaves in the Confederate states.
On September 22, 2020, black pro-life leaders met in Montgomery, Alabama, on that historical anniversary, to sign their names to a new proclamation - The Equality Proclamation.
And in doing so they called upon the nation to reconsider – and change - its ways related to the right to life for black women and children.
The Proclamation - declared on “behalf of black women and children in America” – charged that black children have been “left out of societal protection.”
Additionally, it accused the abortion industry of “disproportionate and discriminatory targeting of black women and children.”
Comparing abortion to its predecessor – slavery – the Proclamation calls both practices “brutal, inhumane, and legal.”
Pronouncing “equality for all of God’s children, born or unborn and of every color,” the signers called on Americans and their leaders to: “search the Constitution, human history, and their own hearts to…rediscover the … truth that we all, even the very smallest and most helpless of us all, are still created equal.”
Dr. Alveda King – one of the signers – delivered a video message that same day.
Pointing to the work of her late uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., she said, “His heart would be broken to see what’s happening to unborn children in the United States of America.”
Along with the Proclamation, a petition was filed with the Supreme Court of Alabama asking the court to require that state leaders follow the will of the people.
A will clearly defined – years earlier – at the ballot box.
With over 60% approval, Alabamans voted in 2018 in support of Amendment 930, a state constitutional amendment that “explicitly recognizes and protects the rights of unborn children in the state, granting them equal protection under the law.” Included in the language was the “right to life” for the preborn.
Which lives comprise the majority that would have been protected by this amendment? Black lives.
It’s an amendment with unambiguous language and the approval of the voters.
And yet, abortion facilities continue to abort babies in Alabama.
The failure to enforce this voter-sanctioned amendment has been costly – and deadly.
Since 2018, more than 15,000 unborn children have been aborted in Alabama.
And this even after the people of Alabama voted to amend their Constitution with language guaranteeing the right to life and equal protection for these preborn lives.
Amendment 930 could have been left to languish – a relic on the books without any evidence of impact on society, just a good try that failed to accomplish anything.
Except for these leaders - who would not look away. Instead, they chose to be the names and faces of the Proclamation and the petition.
The petition asks the court, “If the number of black children threatened by abortion in Alabama every day were in immediate danger of another form of preventable death, would this not constitute a matter of utmost urgency deserving of expeditious relief?”
Reminding the court of the will of the people – and the powers of the state under the 10th Amendment - the petition urges the court to “prevent endless delays in protecting the right to life of black children in Alabama granted by Amendment 930.”
“The people of Alabama have expressed their will, both directly and through their elected officials. Now it falls upon this Court to defend the sovereign will of Alabama using the powers reserved to the states under the U.S. Constitution,” the petition explains.
The court’s response to the petition?
According to Sam McLure, the attorney representing these black leaders, Alabama’s highest court “kicked that out.”
Disappointed, but not dissuaded, McLure reformatted the argument for a first level trial court – with some additions.
We “turned it into a class action lawsuit,” said McLure in a phone interview. “The class is all preborn African American children in Alabama. The class representative is a baby, called by her pseudonym, Baby Q.”
This time, they “also added all the abortion clinics in Alabama as the co-defendants,” McLure said.
Additionally, they added “a Ninth Amendment argument” stating that the rights listed in the Constitution do not abridge others that belong to the people. McLure said that “Roe v. Wade intentionally side-stepped the Ninth Amendment.”
Author, political activist and Miss Alabama 1994 Amie Beth Shaver, is the relator for the case and also one of the signers of the Equality Proclamation.
According to McLure, the class-action suit calls on the court to answer three questions: “One, are African American children persons? Two are they affected by abortion? And three – what is the state of Alabama going to do about it?”
McLure referenced the “team” of people who have worked on the case, among them “attorneys all over the country” and professors, McLure terming them “intellectual giants,” and noting their perseverance in fighting for the protection of preborn black children “for decades.”
Additionally, McLure said that “every sponsor” of an earlier abortion ban bill in Alabama has “intervened in this case.”
State leadership has responded differently.
“Currently the governor, attorney general, and the district attorneys have filed two things,” McLure said, “a motion to dismiss this class action and a motion opposing the legislators intervening.”
McLure likens this to asking the legislators to “sit down and shut up.”
Undaunted, McLure is focused on what’s hanging in the balance.
“We want this case to have the effect of eradicating for-profit abortion in Alabama,” he added.
Speaking of what is at stake, McLure said, “There is an agenda to target African American children and target them to end their lives.”
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While African American children are the most vulnerable preborn children in Alabama, a ruling in favor of the unborn African American children in this class action suit “applies to all children in Alabama that are at risk of abortion.”
McLure joins these leaders in their passion for the preborn.
Adamantly opposing the discriminatory practices of the abortion industry, McLure pointed to the “eugenic history of Planned Parenthood and the entire abortion movement,” stating “that fact doesn’t need to be swept under the rug anymore.”
Planned Parenthood’s New York affiliate admitted this fact in 2020.
McLure’s words to those who continue working to secure legal protection for the preborn?
“Do not grow weary,” he said. “We have to have the kind of people working on this that don’t mind running into a brick wall day after day after day.”
For now, these are the people awaiting the court’s decision - black pro-life leaders, attorneys from across the nation, the people and legislators of Alabama - waiting and watching for the court’s response.
And, most importantly, those who are waiting are the ones who have the most to lose – all the lives represented by Baby Q.
All waiting on the court to answer and end what McLure calls, “one of the worst tragedies in history.”