The niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. says her uncle would be considered a social conservative today.
Dr. Alveda King is the director of African American Outreach for Priests for Life, the country's largest Catholic pro-life organization. She says the advice columns he wrote for Ebony Magazine in 1957 and 1958 show that he was pro-life and in favor of abstinence before marriage.
"Uncle Martin sounded no different than a conservative Christian preacher does now," she said in a statement on Friday. "He was pro-life, pro-abstinence before marriage, and based his views on the unchanging Word of the Bible. Today, Planned Parenthood would condemn Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as part of the 'religious right.'"
In advice columns written for the African American-oriented magazine, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. told a young man who had impregnated his girlfriend and refused to marry her, resulting in a "crime," that he had made a "mistake." He urged another reader to abstain from premarital sex, noting that such activity was contributing "to the present breakdown of the family."
"Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man of peace, justice, and most of all a man of God," added Dr. King. "Were he alive today, he would be working to secure peace and justice for those in the womb and healing for a nation that is still pained by over 50 million missing lives."
Monday marked the 25th anniversary of Martin Luther King Day, a federal holiday in the U.S.