NYC Billboard Targets Abortion in Black Neighborhoods — Brooklynian

NYC Billboard Targets Abortion in Black Neighborhoods

New York, NY— On February 23, 2011, a number of pro-life leaders will unveil a controversial billboard in Soho, New York. The billboard—which features the face of a young African American girl— is part of a larger campaign focused on abortion in the black community which claims that “the most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb.”

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  • Although I'm pro-choice, I'll give the pro-life people credit for varying their strategy a little.

    I.E. While they usually focus their campaigns on making women feel like murderers as a result of killing "one of god's unborn souls", in this instance they seem to be stating something along the lines of:

    "Don't have an abortion!

    If you do, you will be fulfilling

    the wishes of people who hate you".

    Although the pro-lifers haven't used the tactic in a while, this

    "you are giving white people

    what they want when you kill your baby"

    tactic isn't at all new.

    The appeal is based on the ugly fact that people who believe in eugenics have been at the forefront of making birth control and abortion available, both in the United States and overseas.

    For those not aware, a quick search on Margaret Sanger (one of the founders of Planned Parenthood) and "eugenics" returns a wealth of information and opinions on her views.

    As you might expect, some of the websites returned are more reputable than others.

    Typing in "Abortion" and "eugenics" OR "abortion" and "racism" generates a similar deluge of results in need of intelligent sorting:

    In each instance, the debate is over to what degree eugenics has played a role in making abortion and birth control services available, as well as over what "eugenics" actually means in this context. It's all an ugly part of humanity's history ( ...and present!.... ) that I won't try to summarize here.

    But I will state, by having pregnant african american women question whether the past and present motivations of abortion providers are "racist" or "eugenic", the pro-life movement is seeking yet ANOTHER way to discredit and restrict providers of birth control and abortions.

    Off the top of my head, past efforts of the pro-life movement have included requiring women seeking an abortion:

    a. to view ultra sounds

    b. to receive parental notification is they are under 18.

    c. to have a waiting periods

    d. to be ineligible for medicaid funding

    e. to endure harassment

    Providers have endured harassment, assault and murder. Clinics are routinely subject to bomb threats and occasionally, actual bombings.

    But, I'll stay on topic.

    Perhaps Cynthia Tucker says it best.

    I've cut and pasted the below from this link:

    Are racists persuading black women to have abortions? Is there some group of grim executioners looking to carry out a shadowy genocide?

    That’s not only nutty; it’s also insulting. It’s both sexist and racist to suggest that black women don’t have the intellectual and emotional firepower to make their own decisions.

    (Largely owing to easier-to-use contraceptives, abortion rates have been declining for the last 25 years, black women’s rates falling along with those of other ethnic groups. However, Latinas and black women still terminate pregnancies at higher rates than white women.)

    “The truth is that behind virtually every abortion is an unintended pregnancy. . .Because black women as a group want the same number of children as white women, but have so many more unintended pregnancies, they are more likely than white women to terminate an unintended pregnancy by abortion to avoid an unwanted birth,” Cohen wrote in a paper entitled, “Abortion and Women of Color: The Bigger Picture.”

    If conservatives are sincere about curbing abortions — among all women, white, black and brown — they should support efforts to broaden women’s health care, which includes reproductive health care. Easy access to contraceptives would encourage their use, thereby reducing unintended pregnancies — and abortions.

    “The health disparities for low-income women and women of color are enormous,” noted Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, which provides full-service reproductive health care — including non-controversial procedures such as annual pelvic exams — to women who cannot get it elsewhere.

    But social and religious conservatives have been fighting health care reform, which would broaden access to reproductive health care, with the passion they normally reserve for bashing Roe v Wade. That’s why it’s hard to believe they really care about black women — or their children.

  • Extremely well stated Whynot!

  • Thanks Tsarina!

    I find when I proof read for errors, I sound more intelligent.

    ....some might even be fooled.

  • NostrandPark said: ... which claims that “the most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb.”

    Are they claiming that there are more African American fetuses being aborted than living African American being killed by any one cause? So every year, there are more black people getting abortions than there are dying of heart disease, cancer, old age, auto accidents or any other singular cause?

    Do they have a source to back this information up? I find this highly dubious. I'd wager the most dangerous place for African Americans is probably a Tea Party gathering.

  • Are there any young black youths living( measurable %) in Soho? They better hope the ladder is up because it will be a taggers dream to repurpose that sign

  • Sharpton to the rescue! And I know that intersection - it's not SoHo, it's more like Tribeca. Interestingly though, it is exactly where you can catch a Bolt Bus to Washington, D.C.

    Billboard Comes Down

  • Perhaps in response to last year's billboard campaign (discussed above), Planned Parenthood is hosting a movie and discussion about the services it provides to African American women:

    I suspect the film and presentation will focus on their present motivations and services, as opposed to those of the past.

    Given the emotions and interest involved in this issue, I certainly understand why attendees have to RSVP. ...the discussion could get heated.

This discussion has been closed.