In a recent interview, Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson said that the original idea behind Planned Parenthood, founded by Margaret Sanger, was to “exterminate blacks.”
Discussing pregnancy, faith and abortion with Turning Point Pregnancy Resource Center, Watson, the author of Under Our Skin, a book about race relations in America, was asked how race factors into the abortion issue. He said that “blacks kind of represent a large portion of the abortions, and I do know that honestly the whole idea with Planned Parenthood and [Margaret] Sanger in the past was to exterminate blacks, and it’s kind of ironic that it’s working.”
The outspoken Christian athlete lamented that minority voters overwhelmingly support candidates who support Planned Parenthood without considering the reasons behind its founding.”We are buying it hook, line, and sinker, like it’s a great thing,” he said. “It’s just amazing to me and abortion saddens me period, but it seems to be something that is really pushed on minorities and provided to minorities especially as something that they should do.”
Sanger was well known for being a leader of the eugenics movement in the United States in the early twentieth century. She was a well-received speaker at Ku Klux Klan rally in 1926 and wrote in a 1939 letter to Clarence Gamble that “we do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.” She pushed for birth control as a way to eliminate the unfit and inferior individuals from the gene pool through the use of sterilization and birth control.
Sanger’s legacy is a chain of abortion clinics, 79% of which are located within walking distance of a black or Hispanic neighborhood. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Abortion Surveillance report, nearly 36 percent of all abortions in the United States were performed on black children, even though blacks make up only 13 percent of the U.S. population.
Watson said that there are also cultural issues that push minority mothers to abort their babies. “It seems to be painted that when minorities get pregnant they need to get abortions, especially when it comes to teen pregnancy. It’s like when black girls are pregnant, it’s like a statistic, but when white girls get pregnant, they get a TV show.”
He added that minorities like having discussions about “having political power and advancement and all those things,” but then, “we are turning around and we are killing our children.”
He told Turning Point that he is sympathetic because he doesn’t know what it’s like to face an unplanned pregnancy. “I would never assume people are having abortions flippantly. I know people have them for convenience, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a tough choice for the mothers to make, so I always want to be sympathetic to that.”
Asked whether he thought the abortion decision was strictly a “women’s issue,” Watson said that “a lot of the women wouldn’t be having abortions if the men would step up and be a part of what they are already biologically a part of. Raising children and having children, even though the women birthed the child, is designed for two people to do it.”
Women are under “undue stress and pressure” if the father is not there to help,” he said, adding that the man should have just as much invested in the child as the woman. “He needs to be there to support her through the physical changes of the pregnancy, and help and provide emotional strength, and do it together. As much as he has a role in making the baby in the first place, it needs to take both of them the whole way through.”
He said that those who say the man does not have a role in a child’s life are either engaging in politics or trying to make the man’s life easier.
Watson shared that he has counseled teammates who have dealt with the unplanned pregnancies of their partners. As the “old guy” in the locker room—married ten years with five kids—his teammates often seek him out for advice. He talked about one conversation he had last year with a teammate who found out his girlfriend was pregnant. “He had that look like, ‘I don’t know what to do’ and I know that abortion may have very well been a possibility, although we didn’t discuss it specifically,” Watson said. “My whole speech to him was encouraging him about what an awesome opportunity it is to raise a child, to give the child a home, to love that child, and that God entrusted him with another life, and what a responsibility and the privilege that is.”
He admitted that being a father is not easy and told the teammate there would be sacrifices. “If they come over to my locker, I’m gonna tell them they can’t go home and play video games, they need to go be there for their child, and for the baby’s mother. I tell them they’re never going to be a perfect dad because no one is.”
But Watson said he draws his strength from outside himself. “But we have a perfect Father to model ourselves after,” he said. “And we fall short, I fall short all the time, but my job as a father is to be the best example of our heavenly Father as I earthly can. I am not going to be perfect, but I need to be honest with them that daddy needs forgiveness just as much as they do, because I need the blood of Jesus just as much as they do. However, we do need to be the provider, be a priest, a protector for them, so that they get a little glimpse of the sacrificial love of the heavenly Father.”