Abortion Billboards: Strong Words Spark Debate in Atlanta’s Black Neighborhoods

By STEVE OSUNSAMI
Feb. 22, 2010—

Controversial billboards are going up in the heart of black neighborhoods across Atlanta.

The message is simple and alarming — that African-American children are an “endangered species” because there are “too many aborted” in the black community. The words are written over the face of a young black child.

There are now more than 60 of the giant billboards in Atlanta’s black neighborhoods, where a majority of Georgia’s black residents live, and the message isn’t going over well.

“They need to tear it down; they just need to put something else up,” said Atlantan Ashley Varner. “I think they could get their point across without just targeting black people.”

Another, Carrie Logan, went further. “I think it’s just a racist thing that they put out,” she said.

Black Women More Likely to Have Abortions, According to CDC

To the surprise of many, the anti-abortionists behind the billboards are black themselves and say they were motivated by a record number of abortions among black women. Of the 36,094 women in Georgia who had abortions in 2008, nearly 21,000 were African-American, more than twice the number of white women. Nationally, the CDC says black women are still three times more likely than white women to get an abortion.

Ryan Bomberger, who designed the billboards, is “trying to raise awareness in the African American community.” he told ABC News, “to say, ‘Look, here are the numbers. Here’s what’s happening,’ and it should be alarming to civic leaders and to black pastors.”

Bomberger’s group, The Radiance Foundation. has also set up a Web site, toomanyaborted.com, laying out the argument behind its attention-getting headline.

Georgia Right to Life helped pay for the signs. It now has a division that addresses minority concerns. Catherine Davis, who is also African-American and leads the division, said that while most people think the anti-abortion movement consists of “just old white men, that’s not the case.”

Davis says the billboards are meant to sound the alarm in the black community. “It is a shocking message,” she said. “My people are dying. I want people to look at this — is there any truth to what we are saying? If there is truth, let’s do something about it.”

Old Argument Makes a Comeback in Black Communities

Among African Americans, the argument that abortion is bad for the race is an old one, but it’s not usually debated so openly.

As far back as the 1940s, many black Americans resisted abortion, quietly fearing that it was an attempt at black extermination. In the 1970s, though, opinions began to shift. Women’s groups convinced civil rights leaders that they were both fighting for a similar cause — the right to control their own bodies.

But in recent years, the billboard’s argument that abortion is genocide has made a comeback in some parts of the black community. An underground DVD pushes the message, along with an Internet documentary.

“Abortion should be more of a concern to our people,” the DVD says. “Legalized abortion is more than just a crime against humanity, it is also the continuation of a 150-year racial agenda that was in black genocide.”

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Billboard’s Message Insulting to Some

Loretta Ross, a longtime advocate for women of color, says the genocide argument is nonsense. She is the head of a group called Sister Song, which has fought to provide black women with access to contraceptives, reproductive health care, and abortion services.

“To a black woman, when you talk about not being able to control the timing and the spacing of children, guess what that harkens back to? Slavery,” Ross said. “Why should we be discriminated against and have you suggest that it’s for the good of the race!” She continues that “it’s wrong for these people to say that black women are architects of our own genocide.”

Ross says it’s a shame the billboards attempt to shame black women and black people. The people behind the billboard say that at least they’re talking.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Pro-Life Billboards Highlight Eugenics
WRITTEN BY ALEX NEWMAN
TUESDAY, 16 FEBRUARY 2010 18 ( New American)

Dozens of billboards throughout Atlanta announcing “Black children are an endangered species” and featuring a picture of a black baby quickly created a media storm that has spread throughout the nation and even abroad.

The attention-grabbing advertisements are part of a new pro-life campaign organized by the Radiance Foundation’s “Too Many Aborted” project. It aims to highlight the racist motivations of some abortion promoters — particularly Margaret Sanger, the notorious founder of Planned Parenthood and “The Negro Project,” a eugenics plan to reduce the population of “undesirable” people.

“Women are being lied to by … Planned Parenthood,” explained Ryan Bomberger, co-founder of the Radiance Foundation and one of the leaders of the initiative. “That’s what toomanyaborted.com is about. It’s about exposing these things — using the facts — using Margaret Sanger’s own words.” He is the son of a mother who was raped yet chose life and gave him “the opportunity to love and be loved” by putting him up for adoption, he said.

In an interview with The New American, Bomberger said that the aim of the billboard campaign was not to target black women, but to expose an industry that targets blacks. “We emphasize how abortion is a tragedy, it’s a human issue, it’s not race-specific,” he said during an interview on the Laura Ingraham radio show. “This campaign was launched, however, because of the extreme disparity in the numbers.” Ingraham read a collection of Sanger quotes during the segment that drove home the point.

The billboards have quickly made headlines across the nation and beyond, with stories appearing in the Associated Press (AP), the New York Times, and even news outlets in Canada and Asia.

“Even with all of the mainstream media bias, it’s causing people to talk about the alarming statistics — across all demographics,” Bomberger told The New American by e-mail, noting that he was grateful for the coverage the campaign has received. “The media’s propensity for division has been more than apparent, however, especially local news stations. Their headlines and obvious bias suggest and have even accused us of racism, which is preposterous considering the creator/owner of the campaign is as black as Obama and those leading the charge with this initiative (to the press and in the Georgia community) are all African-American.”

The campaign is also having an effect on the political scene. Georgia Right to Life, a group which is also sponsoring the ads, is working at the state level to pass legislation that would prohibit race-based abortions. Shortly after the “endangered species” campaign began, a law to do just that was introduced in the legislature: It is called the “Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act.”

Other pro-life groups around the country have celebrated the ads and the strategy, suggesting that the message be spread nationwide. “The Sanger conspiracy has been undercover for too long…. So I’m hoping that these billboards will spread all over the place, and I know that there will be people trying to stop them, but everyone needs to understand this,” Our Lady of Consolation’s Respect Life coordinator, Jackie Sikes, told The New American from nearby Florida.

But critics have lashed out at the billboards for bringing race into the debate. “The language in the billboard is using messages of fear and shame to target women of color,” claimed Leola Reis, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Georgia, who was quoted by the AP. “If we want to reduce the number of abortions and unintended pregnancies, we need to work as a community to make sure we get quality affordable health care services to as many women and men as possible.”

Beverly Guy-Sheftall, a feminist “women’s history” professor at the historically black Spelman College in Atlanta, also blasted the ads. “These one-issue approaches that are not about saving the black family or black children, it’s just a big distraction,” she told the AP. “Many black people don’t know who Margaret Sanger is and could care less.”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, black women are about three times more likely to have an abortion than white women nationally. In Georgia, blacks represent about one-third of the population yet accounted for more than 57 percent of all abortions in the state.

“Georgia leads the country in the number of reported abortions performed on black women; 18,901 in 2008 alone,” said Catherine Davis, Director of Minority Outreach for Georgia Right to Life.

The campaign’s website provides a vast array of information and resources for people whose interest is captured by the message on the billboards. “American elites (Rockefeller, Ford, Kellogg, Carnegie) championed and funded the beliefs of eugenics, a philosophy of breeding a superior race. It called for the prevention of procreation of the ‘unfit,’” explains the site. “This pseudo-science cult created organizations and policies based upon this ignorance. The Negro Project was one of those efforts, spearheaded by Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger, to eliminate the ‘unfit.’”

The controversy over Sanger’s views on eugenics has been largely suppressed in the mainstream debate about abortion, but it has recently been making its way back to the forefront. The documentary film Maafa 21 documents the “black genocide” extensively. And pro-life activists say that if the truth were widely known, Americans would be outraged.

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In 2007, Planned Parenthood unconstitutionally received 350 million U.S. taxpayer dollars and performed over 300,000 abortions. Critics call this is an outrage, saying that it should upset even firm believers in the “right to choose.” Why can’t Americans at the very least choose not to fund what many believe to be murder of innocents?

Government should immediately stop all funding of Planned Parenthood — it is unconstitutional, and it is monstrous. Hopefully this billboard campaign will bring the debate and its eugenics underside back into the spotlight. Polls show that a majority of Americans consider themselves pro-life. Now is the time to translate the momentum into political action.

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