Controversial anti-abortion billboard targeting African-American women gets removed

The anti-abortion billboard (pictured above) that was unveiled in New York to coincide with Black History Month in America has been taken down after three days instead of it’s proposed duration of six weeks. The 29-feet high, 16-feet wide sign, erected in Manhattan’s Soho district, shows an image of a very young black girl with the words: “The Most Dangerous Place for an African American Is In the Womb“.

The advertising campaign by anti-abortion (pro-life) group Life Always has been met with staunch opposition from the likes of Rev. Al Sharpton and City Council member Letitia James and sparked outrage amongst the African-American community, culminating in Louisiana-based Lamar Outdoor Advertising ordering that the billboard be removed from the corner of Sixth Avenue and Watts Street where it was originally mounted, after some black residents said that they found it offensive.

Life Always placed the billboard in the busy Manhattan neighborhood only half a mile from a Planned Parenthood center, as part of its nationwide campaign tied to Black History Month and said that its message highlights Planned Parenthood’s “targeting of minority neighborhoods”.

In response to this Planned Parenthood, an organisation which offers reproductive health care, sex education, information and child health services, called the advertisement a “condescending effort to stigmatize and shame African-American women” while pointing out that only 3 percent of their services are abortion based with 82 percent being targeted toward preventing unintended pregnancies.

According to the Huffington Post and the Gothamist, Life Always is basing their provocative poster on figures from the New York Health Department which say that Blacks had the largest number of terminations in 2009, with 40,798 – those of Hispanic origin had the second highest, with 28,364. New York’s abortion rate was almost 40 per cent that year, and the three Planned Parenthood facilities nearest the billboard poster reported almost 17,000 abortions in 2010.

[Sources: 1; 2]

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