The attempt to link abortion with African-American genocide has hit the New York streets. And pro-choicers aren't the only ones infuriated: The mother of the real-life child depicted here wants it taken down.
"I would never endorse something like that," Tricia Fraser, mother of six-year-old Anissa, told the local Fox affiliate. "Especially with my child's image." She added, "It's bad enough you're saying this about African Americans, but then you put a child with an innocent face. I just want the image off of it."
It's not clear from the interview the precise nature of Fraser's objection, but possibly she agrees with Planned Parenthood's statement that the billboard is "an offensive and condescending effort to stigmatize and shame African-American women." As for taking it down, it likely depends on the terms of the stock photo licensing contract.
Versions of this billboard have cropped up elsewhere, including in Georgia, but this is the first time the anti-choice movement has ponied up for such a prominent spot in one of America's most pro-choice cities. The billboard is strategically positioned about a half-mile from a Planned Parenthood, and near the entrance to the Holland Tunnel.
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We've covered, extensively, the substantive objections to this line of argument, but to review: It infantilizes black women, it assumes that women need fewer reproductive choices, when they really need more, and it focuses on the abortion rate, when the real issue is the rate of unplanned pregnancy, which is primarily responsible for the high abortion rate among African-American women.
As for Planned Parenthood, as we've noted, almost 20 percent of African-Americans nationwide don't have a usual source of health care, and many rely on Planned Parenthood for routine services that have nothing to do with abortion, itself only three percent of Planned Parenthood's operations. And 23 percent of African-American women are uninsured, compared to 14 percent of non-Hispanic whites. Oh, and African-American children are 69 percent more likely to be uninsured than white children. Now that sounds like a dangerous place.
Updated: Thanks to the activism of Women of Color Policy Network and others, the outdoor advertising company has agreed to take the billboard down.
Mom Wants Child's Image Gone From Anti-Abortion Billboard [My Fox NY]
Earlier: Womb Lynching: On The Anti-Choice Targeting Of African American Women
Pro-Choicers Fire Back On Abortion And Race
Debunking The Myths About Race And Abortion