The Selma Project 2015: If Black Lives Matter, Then Black Women Matter

by Hayley Bifulco

Tear gas and violence greeted the marchers on Bloody Sunday in 1965, as they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge. It wasn’t until I saw the empty pavement where those troops of police once lined up that I understood the shift of racism in our country. Fifty years later, the wicked spirit of racism dwells in abortion mills across the country in its same potent form. In Selma, Alabama, racism thrives in Central Alabama Women’s Clinic of unlicensed abortionist Dr. Samuel Lett. The target: black women.

hayleyCatherine Davis of the National Black Pro-life Coalition, Dr. Alveda King, Star Parker, other pro-life leaders and activists traveled to Alabama this past weekend for The Selma Project. Together, about 150 people of different races and denominations united to stand against the evil of racism and its hiding place in abortion.

The two-day event began Friday night with fervent prayer and an appeal to God to hold state agencies accountable for allowing the clinic to stay open, the shut down of Lett’s illegal abortion operation, and for an end of abortion.

Racism sits as the foundation of the abortion industry. Dr. Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life spoke at the rally about The Negro Project of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, which is as prevalent today as it was in 1939.

“The abortion industry is rooted in racism – its history is cloaked with the foul odor of eugenic racism – and it continues so today,” Yoest said. “Today black women account for 37% of all abortions, bearing the brunt of an unregulated and unscrupulous industry.”

The unity of 150 pro-lifers of different races sitting together at the Friday night rally demonstrates that God’s love is greater than racism.  It is our solidarity in God’s love that will change our culture of death and hatred to a culture of life and love.

Lett’s facility performs more abortions monthly than is legally permitted by the state of Alabama. This was confirmed through documented phone calls given to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) by pro-life organizations Charismatic Episcopal Church (CEC) for Life, Operation Rescue and Life Legal Defense Foundation nearly a year ago.

leaders“We know there are far more women than allowed by state regulation going into Central Alabama Women’s Clinic with a child in their womb, and coming out with an empty womb,” Fr. Terry Gensemer, Director of CEC for Life, said.

When questioned by the press, Lett said that the ADPH checked his office and didn’t find any problems. He claimed, instead, that pro-lifers are using the recent fame of Selma to push their own agenda. However, the campaign to shut down Lett was in effect long before events in association with the Selma movie or 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday occurred this past year.

As we gathered on Saturday to walk across the bridge, we remembered the black women who have died from abortion such as Tonya Reeves, Lakisha Wilson and Semika Shaw. We marched with a still, prayerful posture and crossed over to a long road with two cops halting a small line of cars.

The brutality of Bloody Sunday is still happening, only now it’s behind the closed doors of abortion mills.

As Star Parker of C.U.R.E stood before a monument in front of the National Voting Rights Museum, she declared, “If black lives matter, black women matter. If black lives matter, black babies matter.”

Catherine, Alveda and Star finished the press conference with a call for women who may have been harmed by an abortion at the hands of Dr. Lett to come forward for free legal assistance.  Any woman seeking legal help can contact Life Legal Defense Foundation at (707) 224-6675 or by email at All information is confidential.