Contraception hurts minorities, says African American leader

By Michelle Bauman

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Gloria Purvis

A pro-life advocate in the African American community said that minorities will not benefit from greater access to contraception and abortion, but rather from a greater respect for sex and marriage.

Gloria Purvis told CNA on Feb. 27 that she is offended by the suggestion that minority communities need contraception, sterilization and abortion.

“It reminds me of the eugenics movement,” she said. “In that statement that the black community needs this is the sentiment that we are unfit to be mothers, unfit to have families.”

Purvis is a policy director at a major financial services company and a board member for the Northwest Pregnancy Center and Maternity Home.

She has worked with the National Black Catholic Congress, as well as with programs to foster respect for human life and sexuality in Maryland and Washington, D.C. She is also the creator and host of an upcoming EWTN series, entitled “Authentically Free at Last.”

Purvis said that the push for contraception and abortion among African American communities suggests a desire to “cure” the “black problem.”

She called contraception “an easy out” and explained that instead of charitably seeking to help those in crisis, the contraceptive mindset tells them, “Hey, take this pill and go shut up.”

“These things are not a cure for our social ills,” she said. “If anything, it makes it worse because it’s promoting the disintegration of the family, putting the man and woman at war with each other and at war with their offspring.”

Purvis acknowledged that minority communities do experience high rates of unwed births, contributing to poverty and other social problems. However, she explained, the proper cure is “marriage” and a “renewed respect for sex in our culture in general.”

She said that society as a whole must “turn away from sin,” noting that “sin is not exclusive to the black community.”

The argument that minority communities need “preventive services” that are often prohibitively expensive has been used to defend a federal mandate recently announced by the Obama administration.

Despite a storm of protest from religious groups, the mandate will require employers to offer health care plans that include contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs, even if doing so violates their consciences.

Purvis spoke about the mandate as part of a women’s panel at the Catholic Information Center in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 27.

She said the idea that women need contraception is “demeaning to women” because it is based on the idea that women’s natural fertility renders them “deficient” and in need of “fixing.”

Catholics must raise their voices in opposition to the administration’s “affront against women,” she said. They must speak out in defense of their fundamental liberties, demanding religious freedom for both religious organizations and individual employers who object to the mandate.

“What turned the tide in the civil rights movement was people seeing dogs getting let loose on children and hoses of water getting poured on people,” Purvis explained.

She said that in order to win this battle, Catholics and other people of strong faith must “reveal to the American public the great injustice that is happening to us.”

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