Anti-abortion groups Georgia Right to Life and the Radiance Foundation have partnered to erect 65 billboards like this one across Georgia, and plan to put up 15 more. The billboard features a black baby’s face and copy that reads “Black children are an endangered species.” Their website says “abortion is the tool [racists] use to stealthily target blacks for extermination.”
Contrary to federal data proving otherwise, Catherine Davis of Georgia Right to Life claims that “[The] impact of abortion has become so great that it has begun to impact our fertility rate.” While the abortion rate is indeed higher among black women than white and Hispanic women, the birth rate for black women is higher than the national average. You can view the data in a number of formats here.
The campaign’s sponsors claim they are trying to expose the “abortion industry” that allegedly preys on the black community (or “species”). Loretta Ross, of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective in Atlanta, says “The reason we have so many Planned Parenthoods in the black community is because leaders in the black community in the ’20s and ’30s went to Margaret Sanger and asked for them… Controlling our fertility was part of our uplift out of poverty strategy, and it still works.”
Racism plays a factor in black women’s high abortion rate, all right. Black women earn less than white and Asian women. More than one in five black individuals is uninsured. Black women’s unintended pregnancy rates are the highest of all racial groups in the U.S. But you won’t see these anti-choice groups calling for better access to health care for black women or advocating comprehensive sex education and reliable contraceptive methods. Georgia Right to Life and the Radiance Foundation are not trying to get to the root of what they claim they see as the problem (high abortion rate among black women). If they actually cared about black babies and oh-so-gullible black women, they could ask black women what they need to prevent unwanted pregnancy and what support would make raising their babies more feasible.