At the first hearing on HB 954, those legislators who stand opposed to life and in favor of abortion on demand with no restrictions up until the moment of birth, made some startling admissions. Their opposition to HB 954 revealed the core beliefs of those who champion the rights of a mother to abort her child. Those beliefs brought tears to eyes of many at the hearing. One particularly shameful position taken by Rep. Roberta Abdul-Salaam, D-Riverdale, was expressed in this question to Rep. McKillip “Doesn’t a mother have the right to decide to spare her child the pain of being born into a life of hunger, a life of poverty?” (See, Athens Banner Herald, “McKillip grilled on his fetal-pain abortion bill,” February 16, 2012)
Rep. Abdul-Salaam stands opposed to life for all children who might experience difficulties in their childhood. If Rep. Abdul-Salaam and her supporters had their way, none of the following luminaries of history and today would have made it to birth:
Booker T. Washington (1856 – 1915): Was born into and lived in slavery until the end of the Civil War. Even after gaining his freedom he had to work in the salt furnaces and coal mines in West Virginia. He went on to become a great American educator, author, orator, and political leader.
Louis Armstrong, (1901 – 1971): The famous jazz musician, composer and singer grew in the slums of New Orleans and in dire poverty as the grandson of slaves.
Josephine Baker, (1906 – 1975): This singer/dancer was also a WWII French resistance fighter and civil rights activist. She was born into poverty and at the age of eight was sent to work for a white woman who abused her and burned her hands when she put too much soap in the laundry. She dropped out of school at age twelve lived alone on the street in the slums of St. Louis where she scavenged for food in trash cans. Eventually she went on to become the first African American female to star in a major motion picture.
Farrah Gray (1984 – present): This entrepreneur spent his early years in the projects of South Chicago in acute poverty and began working at the age of six. He went on to become a self-made millionaire, the youngest African-American to earn a million dollars, and received an Honorary Doctorate from Allen University.
J.K. Rowling (1965 – present): This famous author began writing while she was on welfare and by incorporating some of the darker elements of her own life – the loss of her mother and battle with depression – into the novels was able to start the hugely successful series of books we now know as Harry Potter. In 2008 she was estimated to be worth $843.92 billion.
LeBron James (1984 – present): This famous NBA star was raised by a single mother who gave birth at age 16, and struggled with poverty throughout his childhood.
Oprah Winfrey (1954 – present): Having been born into abject poverty in rural Mississippi, Winfrey went from being a young girl clothed in potato sacks (literally) to the richest and most powerful female media mogul in the world.
Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter (1969 – present): Carter lived in Brooklyn’s Marcy Housing projects and at the age of 12 shot his brother in the arm for stealing his jewelry. He went on to become a successful businessman and music mogul.
Celine Dion (1968 – present: Dion grew up in rural Quebec the 14th of 14 children to a father who made $160 a week to support the family of 16. In 2007 she was ranked in Forbes at the 5th richest female entertainer at $250 million.
Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson (1975 – present): Jackson was born to a cocaine-dealing 15 year old mother who was murdered while he was still young. At age 11 he had begun selling crack on the streets and by age 12 he was carrying drugs and a gun with him to school. After leaving drug dealing he was shot 9 times in an incident in 2000. He went on to become the rapper known as “50 Cent” who was ranked sixth best artist of the 2000s by Billboard magazine.
Demi Moore (1962 – present): Moore was born to an 18 year old alcoholic who was also bipolar. She suffered through severe poverty and as a child had vision and kidney problems that the family could barely afford to treat. She went on to become a famous actress and the highest paid Hollywood actress of the 1990’s.