Rep. Trent Franks, a Republican from Arizona, said on Friday that because of U.S. abortion policy, "far more of the African American community is being devastated by the policies of today than were being devastated by the policies of slavery."
Franks made the comments in an interview with video blogger Mike Stark of StarkReports.com.
Slavery, said Franks, "is a crushing mark on America's soul, yet today half of all black children are aborted. Half of all black children are aborted. Far more black children, far more of the African American community is being devastated by the policies of today than were being devastated by the policies of slavery."
Putting aside whether it's appropriate to define slavery as a "policy," Franks is largely correct, according to a Guttmacher Institute study on the rate of abortions in the African-American community, but the same report found that the higher rate was directly related to lack of access to contraceptives.
One hundred percent of African Americans born into slavery, however, were born into slavery.
UPDATE: The most reliable estimate from Guttmacher is that 43 percent of African American pregnancies end in abortion. Sixty-nine percent pregnancies among African-American women were unintended, and of those 58 percent end in abortion.