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Anti-Abortion Ads Play On Racial Fears

By Sierra Black |

timthumbphp“Black children are an endangered species,” read the billboards along Georgia’s highways this month. The signs were paid for by Georgia’s largest anti-abortion organization, Georgia Right to Life. The group’s primarily white staff bought the ads as part of a campaign to woo more black women to their cause.

Georgia’s Right to Life is picking up on a larger effort by anti-choice groups around the country to frame abortion as a racist practice and organizations like Planned Parenthood as part of a vast conspiracy to prevent the births of black children.

It’s not all smoke and mirrors. Almost 40 percent of the country’s abortions are performed for black women, even though blacks make up only 13 percent of the population. While overall about 25 percent of pregnancies end in abortion, for black women that figure is about 40 percent.

Women’s health advocates say this disparity simply reflects the poverty many black women live in. They routinely lack education about sexual health, access to birth control and are exposed to high rates of sexual and domestic violence. These conditions create a lot of unwanted pregnancies. Solve the poverty issue, they say, and black women would have no more abortions than any other demographic.

Abortion foes point to Margaret Sanger’s unfortunate alliance with the eugenics movement, and prefer to gloss over her work with black leaders like W.E.B. DuBois and Dr. King. More recent incidents like a series of audio recordings of Planned Parenthood employees accepting donations “earmarked” to abort black pregnancies have thrown new fuel on these old fires. Right to life groups are capitalizing on this with big money campaigns to attract young black women to their cause.

What do you think? Is this just appalling or do they have a point? To me it smacks of sneaky politics, no matter which side of the abortion debate you’re on.

Photo: Georgia Right to Life

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About Sierra Black

sierra

Sierra Black

Sierra Black lives, writes and raises her kids in the Boston area. She loves irreverence, hates housework and wants to be a writer and mom when she grows up. Read bio and latest posts → Read Sierra's latest posts →

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11 thoughts on “Anti-Abortion Ads Play On Racial Fears

  1. Bean's Mom says:

    It’s very patronizing. The black women are making the decisions on whether to have or not to have the abortion. No one is forcing them to chose abortion. Are they saying, then, that we need legislation to protect black women from “poor” decisions they make for themselves? Like I said, very patronizing!

  2. WLB says:

    From what I’ve read elsewhere, they’re saying that abortion clinics are deliberately built in black neighborhoods, doctors are encouraging black women to have abortions more often than whites and planned parenting info is targeted to blacks more than to whites.

  3. Comstock says:

    Following up on WLB’s point, you have to realize that many anti-abortion types like to speak about an “abortion industry.” They think the demand for abortion comes not from women, but rather that it forced upon them by an industry that is chasing money and preying on vulnerable populations. Strikes me as mostly nonsense.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Maafa21 is the best film if you want irrefutable documentation of the abortion/black genocide link.
    The producers of Maafa21 went directly to the source, researching the information from the papers of Margaret Sanger , Planned Parenthood, their board, and their eugenic supporters.
    Maafa21 will tell you things the media and the government do not want you to hear. This film is not partisan either. Maafa21 shows how both parties are involved in eugenics against the Black Community and includes racist audio of President Nixon explaining why people vote for abortion – any guess?
    Maafa21 traces back in history all the way to slavery. The film covers the Eugenic topic very well and has an emotional interview with an African American woman who was eugenically sterilized in North Carolina. One of the men who helped fund the North Carolina Eugenics Project was none other than Clarence Gamble the same person Margaret Sanger wrote to in a letter, “We do not want word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.” Coincidence?
    Maafa21 shows evidence that Margaret Sanger – founder of Planned Parenthood was a member of the American Eugenics Society (AES), spoke to their meetings, met with their VP’s and also spoke to the KKK (proof in Sanger’s autobiography). In addition, other Planned Parenthood members were Eugenics Society members, including Alan Guttmacher, who was at one time the Vice President of the AES.
    Maafa21 is not for the faint of heart , the film makes it’s points by replaying racist and eugenic quotes which will leave you stunned. It is time to show the truth !
    Maafa21 is a MUST SEE and I highly recommend it ! http://www.maafa21.com

  5. Mistress_Scorpio says:

    In the 80s it was the black woman as welfare queen having a bunch of babies she couldn’t support. Now it’s black babies are an endangered species. The only thing that’s clear to me is that minority women are once again being used as pawns to advance a cause that is about giving them less choices and control over their own bodies. And once again, those that would give less choice to these women and their own family planning, could give a damn about the same women and their kids once they’re born.

  6. Mistress_Scorpio says:

    Also, here’s a great post that came out today on the blog Racialicious about this very issue:
    http://www.racialicious.com/2010/03/02/worried-about-women-of-color-thanks-but-no-thanks-anti-choicers-weve-got-it-covered/

  7. Alicia says:

    I can see why they are concerned about these statistics, but those billboards are offensive and racist in my opinion. I don’t think that that will help their cause

  8. Bear says:

    Comments
    What really gets me is that these are usually the very folks who want to cut or eliminate the social safety net in a war on the poor. No welfare, cut foodstamps, cut health care for the poor, etc. What do they expect these women to do? Why don’t they work on making reproductive education and birth control available to these women? Why aren’t they focusing on the lack of childcare for poor women? The list of “why aren’t they doing something to help the folks already here” goes on and on and on.

  9. Lisa says:

    A black woman was hired by the RTL group to go to black churches to start this campaign and the sickest part is that blacks in the community are buying into the race baiting.

  10. Mistress_Scorpio says:

    Lisa, tell us how the fact that the message found listeners is “the sickest part.” Just curious.

  11. Bec says:

    SPECIES?! You know what SPECIES black children are? HUMAN.

    This billboard is disgusting. The movement is patronizing. You know why there are higher incidences of abortion in black communities? It’s simple: there are higher instances of unwanted pregnancy. If anyone wants to help with that, it should begin with MORE access to reproductive health support, not less.

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