Fri January 24, 2014
PSC Commissioner Tim Echols Explains African American Abortion Tweet
This past Wednesday, Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols tweeted this:
“anyone who denies impact of abortion on black community is smoking something”
WABE’s Rose Scott has more on this story.
Echols says he was responding to a news headline tweet about the legalization of marijuana.
A state public service commissioner since being elected in 2010, he said the tweet was also symbolic because pro-life rallies were taking place on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
“It was simply intended to let folks know that even though African Americans make up 28% of the population, they’re receiving 55% the abortions.”
Echols asserts that statistic is Georgia specific and comes from the Georgia Department of Community Health.
ECHOLS: “We’ve allowed, in our state, so many African-American babies to be aborted and that the African-American community doesn’t really see this.”
WABE: “How do you know African Americans don’t (or unaware of that abortion rate) or even view it the same way that you do?”
ECHOLS: ”Because I’ve talked with a lot of African Americans and I’ve asked them about this. I haven’t done any scientific polling.”
A father of seven, Echols says there are studies that indicate abortion clinics are strategically located in poor communities of color.
He is the founder of TeenPact.
According to its website, the Christian based youth group focuses on training, “young people not just in politics, but in spiritual leadership, character development and personal excellence.”
Echols is pr0-life and he told WABE the significance of the rallies was a way to communicate what he calls an attempt to increase abortions in the African American community.
When he spoke with WABE, Echols cited the history of Planned Parenthood which is associated with birth control advocate pioneer Margaret Higgins Sanger.
But history also charges Sanger as a racist and eugenicist.
However, the lone tweet from Echols, “anyone who denies impact of abortion on black community is smoking something,” was the only tweet referencing abortions and African Americans.
It was not followed with other tweets detailing statistics or other historical information Echols says proves his point.
Echols, also a minister, says many African Americans are unaware that abortion clinics are specifically targeting the black community.
“It’s illogical. Why would you want to be on a path to any kind of genocide or extermination of your own race…it is counterintuitive? It’s unfortunate and I hope in Georgia we can see it turn around.”
According to Echols, he’s hoping lawmakers will take some action with anti-abortion related legislation.
He went on to say he has a good relationship with state and local African Americans politicians such as democrat lawmakers Stacy Abrams, Rashad Taylor, Atlanta city councilman Kwaanza Hall and democrat state representative Al Williams.
When asked if he’s offered his viewpoint about African American abortions to them, Echols declined to answer.
“Well, I certainly don’t want to disclose everything I’ve talked about with my friends. This is a very sensitive topic.”
Echols deleted the tweet the same day, but he told WABE, that’s because he doesn’t like to clutter his twitter feed.