Once again, Black women’s bodies are being used to make a political point. Recently, there has been a lot of discussion around controversial pro-life ads targeting Black women. An Austin, Texas based pro-life organization developed a campaign that (once again) blames Planned Parenthood for high abortion rates among Black women.

Heroic Media, the Austin-based group behind the campaign, recently tried to set up billboards reading, “The most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb.” The billboards were banned in most cities, and have caused quite a stir.

Heroic Media contends that minority children are at a higher risk of being aborted than White children and that it’s all Planned Parenthood’s fault.

“The overwhelming majority of abortion facilities are in minority neighborhoods. We think they need to know that,” said Kim Speirs, Heroic Media’s director of communications.

A similar campaign (and controversy) erupted across Georgia last year when The Radiance Foundation ran billboards across the region equating Black children to endangered species.

While the focus on Black women may make many think that abortion numbers for African-American women are on the rise, they are not. While Black women have higher rates of abortion based on race (38.5% of all abortions), White women still account for over half (almost 60%) of all abortions. So it seems like adding race to an already controversial issue is meant to sway Black voters to pro-life politicians who want to repeal Roe vs. Wade, and make abortion illegal.

I find this ad not only disrespectful to Black women/mothers, but also disingenuous. Talking about lowering abortion rates for Black women without discussing the systematic factors that lead to unplanned pregnancies will do little to change the conditions that lead to unplanned pregnancies. Joblessness, access to high-quality education, and poverty all contribute to some unplanned pregnancies, but maybe it’s easier to treat the symptoms, than deal with the real problem.

Black women have a long history of taking care of our own bodies, which has included having abortions when necessary. These types of ads, blaming Planned Parenthood or some other boogieman, make Black women out to be victims who are too lazy or too stupid to make the right choice, instead of women with power (and sense) enough to know what’s right for them.

Watch Heroic Media’s ad campaign targeting Black women and tell us what you think!

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  • Julie

    Many of the statistics quoted above are incorrect. Here are some 2009 ones from Guttmacher.org (PP’s pollster – not inclined to skew them against PP).
    Below poverty line: 27%
    100-199% of poverty line: 31%
    200-299% of poverty line: 18%
    over 300% poverty line: 25%
    The “welfare mother” is not overrepresented here.

    As for the “safe” option — in 1980, there were 1,787 abortion providers in the US. In 2009, there were less than half that many (approaching 1/3). Yet the number of facilities remained largely constant — meaning that they were not necessarily performed by a provider or that a provider worked more than one clinic.

    Black fetuses are grossly overrepresented in abortion. If you don’t believe this is purposeful, I think you have your head in the sand.

  • Laila Apples

    There are a ton of mentally sound,financially stable,physically capable black women forgoing ever getting pregnant and having children altogether.

    I wonder who’s focusing on them?
    There should be a focus on them if we are speaking of preserving blacks in America.

    This is a silly strength in numbers argument and it is stupid and it does not work.

    What is the point of immature, uneducated, poverty stricken people, who may also have other issues such as mental problems, drug and alcoholism,former abuse victims, having children?

    I am a believer in redemption but shouldn’t folks get it,it being their mental spiritual physical financial selves, together first before they have kids?

    I look at other groups of people here in America with a much smaller number of people and they have very functioning economically viable safe communities that may now even be growing.

    I’ll take less people who are all healthy and able to function over a large group of people who have many negative issues anyday.

    However,more people must get tested and the use of condoms must increase.
    Abortions don’t help to save lives.

    • manaen

      “What is the point of immature, uneducated, poverty stricken people, who may also have other issues such as mental problems, drug and alcoholism,former abuse victims, having children?”
      Right — better to kill those children.

  • manaen
  • BET has also been running a series of ads targeting Black women aimed at making women feel guilty about having an abortion. I really hate these sneaky pro lifer types, attempting to guilt trip Black women into joining their charade of a cause. I always wonder why they are so “pro life” but as soon as a woman needs help with medical care, day care, food or shelter for herself and this child they were so anxious for her to have, everyone throws up their hands and demands that women stand alone and not use taxpayer money for “the growing number of out of wedlock births!”

    This mess puts poor Black women in a position where no matter what they do, its wrong. So I say do what is best for YOU ladies, and forget all these causes and religion and everything else people are going to try to jam down your throat. Get an abortion if you feel like getting one. Because no one will be around to help you raise that child or pay for it or anything else. You’ll be on your own.

    Don’t Fall for the Baby Momma Okey Doke

    • What absolute nonsense. When I lived in the Bronx, NY and witnessed a woman pushing a baby carriage, and asked what was wrong, she said she needed food for her baby. So, I walked her to the story and purchased some for her. This is not the first or the last time I have helped a single mom with her child.

      Now don’t come on here and tell me and other prolifers that we don’t help the people that are here with their kids. That is a LIE based on ignorance and mythology. So the next tiem you want to post a comment, make sure you get some facts straight first. WE are actually out there in the trenches helping these single moms and others. So drop the rhetoric and roll up your darn sleeves and stop advocating murder in the womb.

    • mluv

      I see where your coming from BUT, if a women is HAVING SEX, hello, thats what SEX IS FOR. TO MAKE A BABY. lol. A penis goes into a vagina for the purpose of PRO CREATION. But I feel when you get your self in a situation, why can’t you own up to it?

      First of, if your gonna have sex,(with no intention of having a baby or not in a relationship or MARRIED) USE protection.

      Second, If your gonna have sex, KEEP IN MIND, you CAN GET PREGNANT.
      Whether you use protection or NOT, there is still a chance you can get preggers. And/Or you can even catch and STD

      THIRD, if you get pregnant, THINK if you are gonna be able handle the responsibility of raising that child, knowing that there was a chance of getting pregnant the moment he suck he penis inside of you?

      Forth thing, This person you choose to have sex with, Are they A.) your boyfriend B.) your fuck buddy or booty call C.) random hot dude to mess around with, D.) your husband.

      Women need to realize that they have a uterus and a baby can me made there, so before they HAVE SEX, they need to evaluate who they are having sex with. With your husband or boyfriend, there is still a chance he could be stupid and cheat on you and be unfaithful and untruthful. But if you give yourself enough time with this person, get to know them before you have sex so fast, maybe something like unwanted pregnancy, STDs, or infidelity will less likely occur.

      You say these ads are like trying to play the guilt trip on black women, well in SOME CASES women should take responsibility for their actions. Of course, the guy is an ASS HOLE for knocking a chick up, and not sticking around. But the female need to realize her own self worth, and if that guy is worth it. If he’s not gonna call you, or support you and be there for you, of course he isnt gonna stick around just because your pregnant.

      You say” no one will be around to help you raise that baby” prolly not if he was Not your bf in the first place, never called, only fucked you, a drug dealer, a loser. Women need to realize that before they HAVE SEX, if this person WOULD STICK AROUND.

      And really if WOMEN are gonna HAVE SEX they need to be aware of the consequences that can occur when the guy is a jerk, a loser, and not gonna stick around.

      WOMEN KNOW THE TYPE OF MEN THEY MESS AROUND WITH. And they know if he will stick around or not. Some women don’t see it and they THINK he will stay but he will not. Most women don’t even want to see it.

      Women have to be smarter in their choices of men they mess around with and not have sex SOO fast. it’s not the BABY’S fault that the women decided to have sex with some idiot guy or someone she just wanted to screw to satisfy HER NEED.

      Women can have their fun but there’s got to be limits and standards. From my perspective, it seems like most women have no limits nor standards, no value of LIFE, PERIOD, and do not want to take responsibility and own up for something that could have been avoided.

  • Gayle

    Arthur, I think your angry post toward Deborrah is obvious because a black woman pushed your button. Had that been me, I think your post would have been more respectful. You have proven that black women in this country DON’T get respect, by the language and anger you used toward her. As a white woman, I see all the time how it’s easier for a black woman to piss someone off and if she doesn’t say something you all like, you curse at her. I don’t think her post was as provocative as her skin color

    • Gayle, you must have me confused with someone else. I did not curse (or cuss) at anyone, since I don’t believe in using such language. Since I have helped my own women with their babies for years, I have no issues with my women or my race. I DO have issues with blindly repeated lies about the prolife movement. I get tired of that same old deceptive rhetoric being mindlessly and blindly repeated, that we only care about the babies in the womb, but after that we don’t care. That is absolute nonsense. So of course I get upset with that kind of nonsense when I see it being repeated over and over, and yet it’s one of the biggest lies anyone can repeat.

      So this was not about “respect” for black women. I was about respect for the truth about a movement that is honorable and noble and has saved many lives, despite abortionist and pro-choice efforts to the contrary. This is about saving our lives and promoting the growth and success of our race, and that will not happen if we keep killing ourselves in the womb and justifying it by using deceptive and false rhetoric we learned from Planned Parenthood and pro-choice advocates. We need to take responsibility for our actions and keep and raise our kids if we have them, especially if it’s out of wedlock. Two wrongs (out of wedlock kids, and murdering the child) don’t make a right.