The theme of the 2022 March for Life is “Equality begins in the womb.” The abortion industry has caused great detriment to the goal of equality in the United States. It is an affront to the inherent human dignity of children in the womb, and it distances their mothers and communities from the dignity they deserve.

Pro-life state administrations such as Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s understand that equality begins in the womb; Youngkin has expanded the role of his chief diversity, opportunity, and inclusion officer to incorporate serving as an ambassador for the unborn. As Louisiana State Senator Katrina Jackson has also vocalized, “It’s racist to fund abortions.” When discussing the desires of her 60 percent African American constituency, Jackson says, “I’ve never been in a group of African Americans who’ve asked me to fund abortion.”

When leaders like Youngkin and Jackson speak up for the unborn, they are representing children that are majority non-white, economically disadvantaged, or prenatally diagnosed. As they do so, the abortion lobby is making it clearer than ever that disadvantaged populations are of no importance to them except for profit. After all, minority and impoverished communities are their target demographic.

In 2019, non-Hispanic black mothers obtained abortions 3.6 times more than non-Hispanic white mothers, causing black babies to account for 38.4 percent of those aborted, despite only representing 14 percent of the national population in the same year. According to a letter to Planned Parenthood signed by over 100 black leaders, in cities such as New York, more black children are aborted every year than are born alive.

Why is the abortion rate for black babies so disproportionately high? Could it be because 79 percent of Planned Parenthood’s surgical abortion facilities are located within walking distance of minority neighborhoods?

The eugenic foundations of the abortion industry are no secret. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, famously espoused birth control as a means of eliminating those who she saw as unfit for life. In Sanger’s article “Birth Control and Racial Betterment,” part of the February 1919 edition of The Birth Control Review, she bemoaned that even sterilizing those who were “unfit” was not a sufficient solution: “These measures do not touch those great masses, who through economic pressure populate the slums and there produce in their helplessness other helpless, diseased and incompetent masses, who overwhelm all that eugenics can do among those whose economic condition is better.”

Despite Sanger’s blatant racism and discriminatory tendencies, her memory and life’s work have not been universally repudiated. The extent of Planned Parenthood’s national efforts to distance themselves from Sanger’s legacy are limited to subtle gestures, such as ceasing to present the Margaret Sanger Award since 2015 (although the Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s website still calls the award their “highest honor”). Though rioters have toppled statues of America’s Founding Fathers, including Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, Margaret Sanger’s bust is still on display in the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Those born with disabilities have also been a central target of the abortion industry. The New York Times recently reported that prenatal tests screening for rare disorders are wrong 85 percent of the time. Because of these tests and the eugenic mindset that has crept into American culture alongside the abortion industry, 63 percent of babies diagnosed with spina bifida and between 65 and 95 percent of babies diagnosed with cystic fibrosis are aborted. The message for Americans living with such conditions is loud and clear: if Planned Parenthood had their way, their lives would have been extinguished before they saw the light of day.

The abortion industry prioritizes its bottom line over protecting vulnerable women. Rather than championing requirements for women seeking abortion to visit a facility in person in order to be evaluated by someone who can recognize signs of sex trafficking and domestic violence, the abortion industry has instead advocated for the elimination of in-person dispensing requirements for the chemical abortion regimen in order to make abortion cheaper to provide. It thereby enables abusers to continue their exploitation without fear of discovery.

The abortion industry is a consistent source of inequality for both the unborn population and their mothers. As this year’s March for Life champions the equality of all human life, beginning in the womb, let us ceaselessly pray for an end to abortion and all forms of violence that insult the imago Dei.