Pro-choice and pro-life activists are trading accusations of racism in Atlanta, where two anti-abortion groups erected dozens of billboards declaring, "Black children are an endangered species." Georgia Right to Life and the Radiance Foundation, which posted the signs, say they want to call attention to high abortion rates among African Americans, and to the concentration of abortion clinics in urban, black neighborhoods. Abortion rights advocates say the billboards "paint black women as monsters." Are the billboards exposing a race problem -- or creating one?
These billboards are cynical and racist: The anti-abortion activists don't care about improving the lives of black women and children, says Samhita Mukhopadhyay in Femisting. If anything, curbing access to abortion will make life more difficult for black women. So trying to deprive African American women of control of their own bodies -- and accuse pro-choicers of wanting to wipe out blacks in the bargain -- is both racist and sexist.
"Georgia Right to Life using racialized gender narratives to garner support"
It's the abortion industry that's racist, not the billboards:"This ad campaign may be shocking and a little over-the-top," says Cassy Fiano in Hot Air, but it makes a valid point. "Ninety-four percent of all abortion clinics are located in urban areas," and 43 percent of all black pregnancies end in abortion. "Black women deserve to know the truth about how they are being targeted."
"Pro-life billboards in Georgia stir up controversy"
The billboard misses the point by attacking women: The high abortion rate is the "shame of an entire community -- not of black women," says Mary Mitchell in the Chicago Sun-Times. Young, single, and poor women who choose abortion are just "trying to survive." Instead of accusing them of "genocide," why not pressure men to accept their share of the responsibility? Maybe then more women will see pregnancies as "blessings and not mistakes."
"Black women don't need guilt trip from abortion billboard"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How the South's ugly racial history is haunting ObamaCare
- 10 things you need to know today: October 31, 2014
- If Democrats abandon immigration reform after Tuesday's likely loss, they will turn 2016 into a debacle
- Beware of Splenda: The backlash against artificial sugars
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Stop making fun of philosophy and read some philosophy
- Sorry, we will not all be having sex with robots in the future
- What if Leo Strauss was right?
- Israel's quiet doomsday submarines are almost ready
Subscribe to the Week