RALEIGH — Rev. Dean Nelson, an African American minister and executive director for Human Coalition Action, has sent a letter to Gov. Roy Cooper asking him to fight racism and temporarily close all nine Planned Parenthood clinics in the state.
“Governor Cooper, it’s time to reckon with the white supremacist legacy and racist reality of Planned Parenthood,” writes Nelson in the July 28 letter. “We ask you to close the nine Planned Parenthood clinics in your state while an official investigation of its practices to determine if they target Black women is implemented.”
Nelson says Human Coalition has worked to raise awareness in North Carolina of the “disproportionate impact abortion has on African American communities.”
Human Coalition Action is 501(c)4 based in Texas with satellite locations in Atlanta, Cleveland and Pittsburgh. The organization has two locations in North Carolina – one in Raleigh and one in Charlotte.
“We also highlight solutions,” Nelson told North State Journal while referring to the two clinics operated by Human Coalition in North Carolina that offer women alternatives to abortion.
In the letter, Nelson cites Cooper’s own statements to fight racism wherever it is following the George Floyd riots that swept through cities across the country, including North Carolina.
“Are you willing to fight racism when it targets black lives in the womb?” asks Nelson.
Included in his letter are a number of statistics on abortion, specifically stating that 79% of Planned Parenthood’s abortion facilities are either in or near minority communities and that Black women are “five times more likely than white women to receive an abortion.”
He also cites that Planned Parenthood was founded by the eugenicist and white supremacist Margaret Sanger, who wanted to “use abortion to cull Black populations and keep Black families from living full, healthy, and thriving lives.”
“Earlier this year, I was proud that the Lt. Governor did ask some questions about Planned Parenthood and its history and a lot of people jumped on him,” said Nelson. “Planned Parenthood criticized him, but now Planned Parenthood has admitted themselves they have actually participated in systemic racism and that their founder was racist.”
Nelson went on to say the way that Lt. Gov. Dan Forest’s statements were treated versus Planned Parenthood’s own similar admissions was an “interesting contrast.” He added that Cooper now has a chance to affirm that Black Lives Matter by doing something about an organization like Planned Parenthood that has a “racist history.”
In 2019, a new Planned Parenthood facility was opened in close proximity to a minority neighborhood. Referring to North Carolina’s history with eugenics, Nelson says that the new Charlotte facility is a “straightforward continuation of North Carolina’s racist history of selective sterilization.”
When asked why he was sending this letter now, Nelson said that given North Carolina’s past history with eugenics, that maybe now was a good time to see if the state was still participating in it in “some way, shape or form.”
“Systemic racism impedes, injures, and kills black lives. But no black life is as vulnerable as the life of a preborn child,” Nelson says in his closing paragraph. “Mr. Governor, if you truly want to fight racism, uphold human dignity, and defend black lives, then you have to protect the unborn from the racist abortion targeting of Planned Parenthood.”
Nelson told North State Journal that Human Coalition wants the state to be “proactive.” They want to see the state’s investigation require Planned Parenthood to demonstrate that their clinics are not engaged in systemic racism by targeting minority women.
According to Nelson, as of Aug. 5, Human Coalition yet to receive a response from Cooper.