Did this billboard take it a little bit too far?? “The most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb.” Rev. Stephen Broden, of anti-abortion group Life Always, doesn’t seem to think so. This ad was placed in the heart of Soho with an attempt to bash Planned Parenthood for targeting abortions among minorities. What are your thoughts? Is it a racist sign or does it do its job?? Check another one of their billboards.
[NY Times] – An anti-abortion group was blasted Wednesday over its contentious SoHo billboard equating abortion among black women with genocide.
“The most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb,” reads the towering sign, with its message appearing above a photo of a young black girl.
“We celebrate our history, but our future is in jeopardy as a genocidal plot is carried out through abortion,” said the Rev. Stephen Broden, an official with the anti-abortion group Life Always.
The billboard’s arrival was timed to coincide with Black History Month, and it will remain above Sixth Ave. for three weeks.
“It’s a negative statement,” said Emani Coulthurst, a black woman from Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. “I’m against abortion myself, and I know a lot of other African-American women who are able to take care of their children well.”
A pregnant Danutua Byra said “the targeting of African-American women is a little aggressive.”
Life Always said it hoped to raise public awareness of Planned Parenthood’s “targeting of minority neighborhoods.”
Planned Parenthood quickly blasted the billboard as “an offensive and condescending effort to stigmatize and shame African-American woman.”
Broden called that description wrongheaded.
“Our message is one that’s provocative,” he said. “It’s true and it’s accurate and it’s real.”
Federal statistics show blacks make up about 13% of the American population, and account for 36.4% of U.S. abortions. This is the first billboard in a national campaign planned by the group.
“It ruined my day,” said Heide Deruiter, a lower East Side resident, after spotting the sign. “It’s a very difficult time to be a woman in the world right now.”
Councilwoman Letitia James blasted the sign and its timing.
“It is misguided to use Black History Month as a tool to promote this message,” said the Brooklyn politician. “Every woman has the right to make personal choices in regard to her body, and I respect many different points of view.
“But to compare abortion to terrorism and genocide is highly offensive.”
Mayor Bloomberg, who hadn’t seen the billboard, said its message wouldn’t change his position.
“I’ve always been in favor of a woman’s right to choose, and nothing that any billboard or anything someone puts up is going to change my mind,” the mayor said.