Anti-Abortion Billboard Has Racist ConnotationsDanielle Sullivan
A billboard aimed to push the anti-abortion movement is disturbing many people, particularly African Americans.
Set in the middle of New York City’s popular Soho, it displays a picture of a little African-American girl and states, “The most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb.”
The billboard was paid for by the anti-abortion group Life Always, and it hangs a short half-mile from a Planned Parenthood.
According to the Huffington Post, Life Always Board Member Pastor Stephen Broden explains his reasoning behind the billboard: “During Black History Month, we celebrate our history, but our future is in jeopardy as a genocidal plot is carried out through abortion.”
Another Life Board member, Rev. Derek McCoy agrees that the billboard does push the envelope, “We do think we’ve gone too far, and we do think it’s over the edge,” he said. “But the city’s abortion rates have crossed the mark and are over the top.
The billboard was specifically timed to coincide with Black History Month.
Planned Parenthood released a statement calling the billboard “an offensive and condescending effort to stigmatize and shame African-American woman.”
Councilwoman Letitia James believes the sign is completely off target, “It is misguided to use Black History Month as a tool to promote this message. Every woman has the right to make personal choices in regard to her body…but to compare abortion to terrorism and genocide is highly offensive.”
To me, the comparison this billboard makes between abortion and genocide is so utterly senseless, I don’t even see it as an argument. It attempts to take the disaster of mass genocide and lessen the absolute tragedy of it.
I also can’t help but think about the young African-American girls walking down the street and wondering what this billboard is really telling them. While Life Always may claim they are trying to help unborn babies, pro-choice and pro-life sides might be able to agree that this misuse of the power of words only tears down self-esteem and creates bad feelings of shame.
If the goal was really to help prevent unwanted pregnancies and help young girls, wouldn’t the money be better used in other ways? You can just imagine how much it costs to place a billboard of that size in the middle of New York City. Surely those funds could have gone into sex education programs or toward helping young mothers who are struggling to raise their newborns.
Despite the public outrage over the billboard, it is timed to stay there for three weeks.