- Abortion clinics don't target black neighborhoods, but some anti-abortion activists do. (Photo: TBD Staff)
Are abortion providers concentrated in minority areas? Some anti-abortion activists think so. A brief sampling of claims:
* "‘Those abortionists plant their killing centers in minority neighborhoods and prey upon women who think they have no hope …. the great irony is that abortion has done what the Klan only dreamed of." — Dr. Alveda King
* "If destruction of the black population isn’t the aim of the abortion industry; why are 94% of abortion clinics located in urban black neighborhoods?" — Desert Conservative
* "Black America must wake up and stand up to this racist organization that purposefully plants abortion facilities firmly in black and minority neighborhoods and urban communities—sometimes, right next door to schools.” — National Black Pro-Life Union President Day Gardner
* "Abortion opponents say the number is so high because abortion clinics are deliberately located in black neighborhoods and prey upon black women." — The New York Times
This month, the Guttmacher Institute, crunched the numbers on race and clinic location. After cross-indexing racial and ethnic information from the 2000 U.S. Census with the Guttmacher Institute's own 2008 census of known abortion providers, researchers found:
* 63 percent of abortion providers are located in predominantly non-Hispanic white neighborhoods.
* 12 percent are located in predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods.
* 9 percent of abortion providers are located in predominantly black neighborhoods.
* 1 percent of abortion providers are located in other predominantly non-white neighborhoods.
* 15 percent of abortion providers were located in neighborhoods where no racial group constituted a majority of the population.
According to the 2000 census, blacks and Hispanics each made up about 12 percent of the U.S. population. "These statistics definitively refute the assertion that most abortion clinics are located in predominantly African-American neighborhoods," the study concludes.
Let's take a local view. In the District of Columbia, most major abortion providers are concentrated in the NW quadrant: The Washington Surgi-Clinic at 2112 F Street NW; Planned Parenthood at 1108 16th Street NW; and Dr. Nathan Bobrow at Washington Hospital Center, 106 Irving St. NW. One major provider is located in SE, east of the Anacostia river: The Potomac Family Planning Center at 3230 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. (Please let me know if I'm missing any District abortion providers; unfortunately, some clinics can be difficult to locate). If anything, it looks like District abortion providers could benefit from some more geographic diversity.