New racist anti-choice billboards show up in NYC
The huge billboard featured above recently went up in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City. Sponsored by the Texas group Life Always, this billboard is just one in a series of similarly targeted billboards that have gone up around the country. This one is conveniently located around the corner from the NYC Planned Parenthood.
Responses from the organization behind the billboard specifically talk about targeting Planned Parenthood and the rates of abortion among African-American women.
Reproductive justice advocates are livid.
Yesterday, racist billboards went up in Soho attacking black women and our human rights by claiming “the most dangerous place for an African American child is in the womb.” SisterSong, a coalition of 80 women of color and Indigenous women’s organizations, denounces this cynical attempt to use race during Black History Month as an excuse to assault women’s rights. Black women are not the pawns of these white people who erect such billboards. We find them offensive, racist, sexist and – most of all – disrespectful of our decision making, our 400-year history of raising and caring for black children, and our human right to make health care choices for ourselves.
Read the full statement here.
Also, an interesting note. The mother of the child pictured (who is only 6 years old)apparently had no idea how her daughter’s image was going to be used: “I would never endorse something like that,” says Tricia Fraser, Anissa’s mother. “Especially with my child’s image.” Her daughter’s photo was taken by an ad agency and then sold to a stock photo company, where the anti-choice group purchased it for the ad. Fraser is now demanding that her daughter’s image be taken off the billboard.
UPDATE: Want to take action against the offensive billboard? Contact the advertising company that hosts the billboard and ask them to remove it:
General Manager: Peter Costanza, email@example.com
437 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016
New racist anti-choice billboard campaign to target Latinas
The racist trope regarding abortion rates in African American communities, promoted primarily through billboard campaigns, has expanded to include Latinas.
According to the Daily Caller, the billboard pictured is set to show up in Los Angeles next week, connected to a group called Latino Partnership for a Conservative Principles. Among the board members of the group is Luis Fortuno, the Governor of Puerto Rico.
The message is very similar to the billboard that we fought against in Manhattan earlier this year, with a few exceptions. This billboard is bilingual, which means that in the Spanish version of the statement the word madre (mother) appears, and is emphasized. In the English version that attacked African-American women, the word mother, even the word woman, was entirely absent. It was a shocking contrast to the fact that the ads themselves were actually targeting Black women as the ones putting Black children in danger, even though they never actually mentioned them.
I’m disgusted, but not particularly surprised. Like Steph, as a Latina, I’m angry that my community is being targeted. But I’m not more angry than I was when I saw the first billboards attacking African-American women. I already felt attacked by those original billboards, because these tactics aren’t actually about the communities they target.
They are instead about attacking abortion, trying to race bait, divide the pro-choice community along racial lines. They implicitly make women of color the culprit, the ones responsible for this myth of genocide in our communities. Whether it’s African-American women, or Latinas, or Indigenous women–they are simply using women of color to forward their anti-choice agenda.
Regardless of whether they are attacking your community, they are attacking all of us and we need to fight back.
I’ll keep an eye out for any action items targeting these billboards and post them.