Group Wants Black Women To Care For Themselves. And That Means Get An Abortion.
There appears to be a very active abortion debate going on via billboards across the United States. Some of the wording used in this war has drawn the ire of both camps.
One of the most recent battles between sides appears to have begun following a pro-life billboard being erected in in July in Dallas. According to the Dallas Observer, Dallas Pastor Stephen Broden and the National Black Pro-Life Coalition are responsible for the sign.
The message on the billboard reads, “Abortion is not health care. It hurts women and murders their babies.” Abortion has often been associated with women’s health and health care matters, so the messaging makes sense, from a pro-life standpoint.
But The Afiya Center, a “reproductive justice” group, took exception to the messaging and placement of the sign. On the organization’s website, a statement was posted as to why they object to the billboard.
“Putting a billboard like this one in an area full of black women is a gesture that will not go unchecked,” said Marsha Jones of The Afiya Center. “We know exactly what we need to do to keep our families, communities, and selves afloat, all you need to do is: trust black women. Or leave us be.”
But that isn’t all the group had to say on the matter.
“Shaming Black women for ending a pregnancy means denying our right to make decisions about our own bodies — bodies we have to live in and with every single day. It means ignoring the reasons why access to abortion is important, simply because you think you know what’s best.
“Having the full range of reproductive choices is essential to our health and our economic well-being. Attacks on reproductive choice have serious consequences for black women in Texas — not just higher instances of unplanned pregnancies, but can lead to higher prevalence of HIV and greater maternal mortality.
“The impact of caring for HIV/AIDS or losing a mother are economic hardships that could impact families for generations. Barriers to access to critical reproductive health services, along with a culture of shame and stigma about abortion, are tools that perpetuate the cycles of poverty and oppression that black women have faced for centuries.”
Earlier this month, a billboard from The Afiya Center also appeared, which could read as a response to the Dallas billboard. “Black women take care of their families by taking care of themselves. Abortion is self-care,” the billboard reads.
Its message also garnered backlash.
Mentioned in the above tweet, Margaret Sanger was “an advocate for women’s reproductive rights who was also a vocal eugenics enthusiast,” according to Time magazine. She has long been labeled a proponent of black genocide, specifically via birth control and abortion clinics targeted at black communities. BlackGenocide.org is just one of a number of outlets making such claims.
“More than a decade later, Planned Parenthood continued targeting minority communities, but without much success,” the website says. “In 1940, nonwhite women aged 18 to 19 experienced 61 births per 1,000 unmarried women. In 1968, the corresponding figure was 112 per 1,000, a 100 percent jump.
WOWW. So for BLACK women, killing our offspring is like a day at the spa. They don’t market this way to any other group. @PlannedParenthood still operating on behalf of Margaret Sanger. pic.twitter.com/PkWeT6Xcz0
— Stacy Washington (@StacyOnTheRight) August 29, 2018
“What other factor could account for the increased rate of sexual activity than wider access to birth control, with its promise of sex without tears and consequences? Alan Guttmacher, then president of Planned Parenthood, was desperate to show policy-makers that birth control would produce a situation whereby ‘minority groups who constantly outbreed the majority will no longer persist in doing so’
“Despite claims that racial or ethnic groups were not being ‘targeted,’ American blacks, among whose ranks a greater proportion of the poor were numbered, received a high priority in Planned Parenthood’s nationwide efforts.”
The site contains a massive amount of information, including many original quotes, which use language of the time that is viewed as offensive today.
Dallas is not the only place being hit with pro-choice and pro-life billboards. Ms. Magazine shared a tweet featuring a pro-choice billboard and a link to an article about it.
.@AbortionCare is calling out anti-abortion junk science in a big way—with a billboard campaign. https://t.co/flxkecbzfh #EndAbortionDeception pic.twitter.com/Tx8mLDHH8h
— Ms. Magazine (@MsMagazine) February 8, 2018
In the article, it was revealed that such billboards were specifically being placed to counter pro-life billboards across the country.
Given how the issue of abortion is so heated and in the headlines again due to the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, more billboard wars are likely to pop up across the country.
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