The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 74% of women having abortions in Mississippi are black. But Laura Knight of Pro-Life Mississippi points out that figure is for 2019. In 2020, says Knight, that number jumped to 78%. By comparison, 36% of abortions nationwide terminate black preborn children.
"We have no simple answer to that [large difference]," says Knight. "We don't know why the abortion industry is targeting them so much with their messaging, telling them that they cannot be a success and be a mother."
According to the pro-life leader, most women who respond to pro-life sidewalk counselors explain that's precisely the message they are hearing from the abortion industry.
"I think that has a lot to do with this divide – where they want to be able to independently take care of this child … and if they cannot do that, then they want to have an abortion," says Knight.
"But I want to tell them that it's okay to ask for help, it's okay to accept help; and that there are so many resources here in Mississippi that will address any of their needs," she adds.
Knight argues in support of better education of the public, improved sex education curriculum in public schools, and more robust reporting of abortion complications so women know the truth about abortion.
Mississippi has one remaining abortion clinic, located in Jackson – the state capital.