After displaying a highly offensive anti-abortion billboard campaign, the anti-choice organization Life Always ran into trouble when New York City denizens demanded it remove its colossal billboard declaring “the most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb.” Tricia Fraser, the mother of the little girl on the billboard, was enraged to learn of the billboard. She hadn’t expected a photo taken at a modeling agency to be abused for that purpose. Life Always promised not to use the girl’s picture again.
Instead, they’ll use President Obama’s. As Right Wing Watch notes, Life Always and ThatsAbortion.com will unveil 30 new billboards in President Obama’s hometown — “where residents are predominantly black” — that declares, “Every 21 minutes, our next possible leader is aborted.” These are babies who could grow to be the future Presidents of the United States, or the next Oprah Winfrey, Denzel Washington or Maya Angelou,” said Life Always Board Member Reverend Derek McCoy.
Since 2010, multiple right-wing anti-choice groups have been running “Abortion as Black Genocide” billboard campaigns across the country to target Planned Parenthood. Anti-choice groups are even defending the “Black genocide in the 21st century” fliers “displayed a noose” or said “in the new klan lynching is for amateurs.” State and federal lawmakers are now even trying to ban “race-based abortion.”
As the Guttmacher Institute notes, these groups are “exploiting and distorting” the fact that “the abortion rate for black women is almost five times that for white women” to falsely blame the “aggressive marketing by abortion providers to minority communities.” In reality, the higher abortion rate reflects higher rate of unintended pregnanices resulting from wider disparities in geographic and financial access to health services — most notably “being able to afford the more effective — usually more expensive — prescription methods.” These obstacles, ironically, are what Planned Parenthood actively seeks to remove.
“No woman’s reproductive choices should be questioned or subjected to more scrutiny or control based on her racial or ethnic background—and that’s exactly what these billboards do,” Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America told ThinkProgress. NARAL recently launched a campaign to remove these billboards. “We also find it deeply offensive that the group behind these billboards is wrapping its anti-choice agenda in the language and framework of civil rights. This cynical campaign represents politics at their worst,” she said.