Abortion Billboard in Soho Calls Out African-Americans During Black History Month
Life Always, an anti-abortion group, revealed a giant new billboard
today (Update: It appears to have been up since at least last week) at Sixth Avenue and Watts Street in the New York City neighborhood of Soho, featuring a picture of a young black girl and text that reads, "The most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb." Underneath is a link to ThatsAbortion.com, which celebrates the billboard as an opportunity to "expose the truth about how Planned Parenthood targets minority neighborhoods as they perform over 300,000 abortions a year." In a press release (.pdf), Life Always Board Member Pastor Stephen Broden said, "During Black History Month, we celebrate our history, but our future is in jeopardy as a genocidal plot is carried out through abortion." The city is already speaking out against the impactful ad buy.
Planned Parenthood, which risks losing federal funding because of a bill recently passed in the House, calls the billboard "a reprehensible tactic" in a statement. "Planned Parenthood knows that every woman, of every background, takes her health decisions seriously and makes deeply personal decisions after consulting with her doctor and with loved ones she trusts." (The bill, meanwhile, is opposed by the Obama Administration and Mayor Bloomberg.)
City Council member Letitia James, too, issued a statement, calling the message "misguided" in its use of Black History Month "as a tool to promote this message."
"Every woman has the right to make personal choices in regards to her body, and I respect many different points of view, but to compare abortion to terrorism and genocide is highly offensive," she said.
The website, she continued, is "notorious for being intentionally vague concerning their agenda to deter women from seeking abortion services; and some have been accused of being deceptive about abortion risks and procedures while intentionally targeting poor and working-class women, immigrant women, and women of color to utilize their services."
A rally for women's health is scheduled for Saturday in Lower Manhattan.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.