This billboard was posted in SoHo this morning, by a group which paid very good money to get this point across:
“There is a battle being waged in the United States that has taken more lives than any foreign war or act of terrorism. The enemy is abortion. Its’ supporters include the main stream media, liberal representatives in government, and Planned Parenthood, the country’s largest abortion provider. The voices of the opposition are everywhere. ThatsAbortion.com is a project of Life Always. We use advertising, research and confrontational truth to gain awareness, inform and educate individuals to choose life, always!”
A video on the site shows the silhouette of a pregnant woman and a solemn male voiceover accuses Planned Parenthood of having more abortion clinics in black neighborhoods than in those mainly populated by any other ethnic group. (“It’s a crazy claim: We’re on 26 Bleeker St.,” protested Roger Rathman, who called the overall campaign a wrongheaded attempt to stigmatize the African-American community.)
Among those protesting the message sent by the billboard: Brooklyn City Councilwoman Letitia James and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. James says the group’s site directs those seeking “pregnancy help” to crisis pregnancy centers, which are known for dissuading women from getting abortions rather than providing the procedure women think they’re coming to get when they go into the offices.
“It is misguided to use Black History Month as a tool to promote this message,” said James. “Every woman has the right to make personal choices in regards to her body, and I respect many different points of view, but to compare abortion to terrorism and genocide is highly offensive.”
Said de Blasio: “This billboard simply doesn’t belong in our city. The ad violates the values of New Yorkers and is grossly offensive to women and communities of color. Women of all backgrounds have a right to reproductive healthcare in New York City, and we must not let the current campaign of attacks undermine New Yorkers’ longstanding support for a woman’s right to choose. A mix of intolerance and bad judgment put this ad up — common decency demands it be taken down.”
The city abortion rate has been of great controversy in recent days after city reporting showed 41% of NYC pregnancies are terminated.
When first asked about the figure — which brought a strong reaction from the Catholic Church and pro-lifers like state Sen. Ruben Diaz, Sr. of the Bronx, who called the numbers an attack on minorities — Mayor Bloomberg said he was unsure the figures were accurate.
Is ThatsAbortion.com taking a flawed message too far or starting a dialog that needs to be going on in the African American community?