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Elroy Sailor, CEO of the lobbying firm J.C. Watts Companies, said Republicans shouldn’t fear talking about abortion to African-Americans in their districts because the issue has been more damaging than slavery.

“Look, abortion has been worse on the African-American community than the slave trade, than Jim Crow ever. … The African-American community, we make up 30 percent of abortions in the country. That’s going out of the world backwards, my friend,” Sailor said during a Thursday appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Sailor appeared on a panel titled “Reaching Out,” which focused on ways Republicans can better appeal to minority voters. Speaking alongside Ed Gillespie, a Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Virginia, Sailor argued that Democratic positions on abortion rights and guns have stunted GOP appeal in African-American neighborhoods. The Republican platform, he stressed, nevertheless offers viable opportunities for African-Americans.

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