Anti-abortion billboard sparks controversy in New York City — UPDATED

You can see it for yourself below.

Some coverage, from local TV station, WCBS:

The billboard, located at the corner of Watts Street and Sixth Avenue, reads: “The most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb.” As CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman reports, while the ad was intended to spark debate, for many, it’s simply sparked outrage.

If the idea of advertising is to get your attention, the billboard doesn’t disappoint. It’s the combination of the girl and those words. East Flatbush’s Daisy Frith’s initial reaction was typical.

WHAT?” she said.

The billboard is part of a national campaign sponsored by the anti-abortion group “Life Always” and hangs about a half-mile from a Planned Parenthood facility on Bleecker Street.

The Texas-based group claims Planned Parenthood targets minority neighborhoods and that abortions among African-American women are three times that of the rest of the population.

“And I’m sure black women are going to respond, in large part, because they have only heard one side of the argumentation. They only see it from Planned Parenthood’s position of a woman’s right to choose, meaning that the only choice that a woman has is to abort the baby. That’s not the only choice!” said Pastor Stephen Broden from the anti-abortion group LifeAlways.

Pastor Broden said his group bought the billboard to get exactly this kind of debate going.

Read more.

UPDATE: The billboard is evidently coming down.

Comments

  1. pagansister says:

    That billboard is an insult to women of color. It seems to imply that the only women who seek an abortion are black women. Also PP is not just an abortion provider—they also provide exams, birth control advise, as well as other medical services to not just women, but men also. However those that paid for that billboard seem to not want to hear that, obviously. According to information heard on NPR today, only 3% of the services provided by PP is abortions.

  2. ron chandonia says:

    Apparently the billboard is being taken down because employees in the business located below the poster were being harassed by supporters of abortion. So much for the New Civility!

    The larger question here is whether such advertisements have a positive impact on the intended population. Here in GA, the Right-to-Life group joined the Radiance Foundation to erect billboards with the face of an African American child and the caption “Endangered Species.” Though the campaign leaders were black, local activists charged that the advertisements targeted and stigmatized black women, and efforts to discuss the message drew largely white audiences.

    It seems impossible for anyone, even pro-life African Americans, to address this problem without tackling the larger and still thornier issue of male-female relationships among black Americans. The horrific (and rising) abortion rate goes hand-in-hand with a 70% illegitimacy rate and a severe shortage of two-parent households. In the news this very day, the popular rap star Kanye West is raising hackles with charges that black women are getting pregnant to extort abortion money from harried black men. Obviously, some serious efforts on the part of churches in the black community are badly needed, but sadly, very few of those churches are Catholic.

  3. Deacon Greg Kandra says:

    Pagan…

    According to this item in the New York Times, a whopping 41% of pregnancies in New York City end in abortion. Read through, and one of the highest abortion rates is among black teenagers.

    Dcn. G.

  4. Klaire says:

    Pagan I think you were duped with those numbers at PP. It’s more like 97% aboriton and 3% “other.” Abortions are their bread and butter, and black genocide is their number one goal, consistent from the days of PP founder, Margaret Sanger.

    I hope they can get another one and hang it across the street in view of Michelle Obama’s bedroom. If she would stop trying to micro manage our food intake (while she and Barak feast on junk food), maybe she could wake up and realize that her greatest contribution as First Lady could and should be black genocide awareness.

  5. pagansister says:

    Thanks for the referral to the article, Deacon Kandra.
    My opinion of the soon to be taken down billboard, however, hasn’t changed. Am glad it is to be removed, the sooner the better. It was in incredibly poor taste.

    All the numbers in the article were interesting. One that struck me was that teen pregnancies have gone down—-they must have either figured out abstinence (the best birth control) or use other forms of birth control—-which means that there are fewer pregnancies or abortions—good news on that front.

    Though some who have read my statements about a woman’s right to choose—and I totally stand by that, I’m not “pro- abortion”, as some would think. I’d much rather have no unwanted pregnancies, and if that happens, choices should be offered to the woman. Preferrably, abstinence , but if not that—condoms, and other forms of birth control is best.

  6. pagansister says:

    Obviously the above post by me, is all done with the fact that it is In My Opinion. :o )

  7. Deacon Eric Stoltz says:

    As I understand it, the cost of prenatal care and childbirth for a mother who has no insurance is about $28,000. An abortion generally costs less than $500.

    Poverty and the disgraceful healthcare system in this country create an environment where many feel driven to abortion. How can anyone judge a poor teenager who simply does not have anywhere near the money to bring her child to term? Instead we have people marching in the streets to protect the profits of the insurance companies as we judge the poor who are left without healthcare. Somehow the insurance companies are doing God’s will and the poor girls are the evil ones.

    May God have mercy on us all.

  8. Deacon Eric Stoltz says:

    “If the idea of advertising is to get your attention, the billboard doesn’t disappoint.”

    Um, well, actually, NO! The purpose of advertising is not to get attention, but to change behavior. If the advertisement only gets attention and makes people argue, it is a failure.

    In order to change behavior, effective advertising must be based on research that identifies approaches that are likely to change behavior, and provides a research methodology to evaluate the effectiveness of the campaign.

    “Scoring points for my team” is not an effective advertising strategy. Unless, of course, that is one’s true goal, which often seems to be the sole aim of the prolife movement today.

    What we need is valid scientific research on messages that are likely to influence women not to get abortions, and commitment to the support systems they need to bring their children to term (like an actual healthcare system instead of a Wild West approach where insurance companies do whatever they want).

    Many have given up on the current prolife leadership to be able to actually do anything to deal with the abortion issue because the prolife leadership is fixated on Roe v. Wade and stockpiling justices on the off chance that Roe v. Wade may come up before the Supreme Court sometime in the next several decades.

  9. Gerard Nadal says:

    The NY Times does not tell the whole story.

    Since 1970, there have been 4.2 million abortions in NYC. For as long as records have been kept (13 years) the rates remain constant:

    47% African American
    32% Hispanic
    11% White

    Those are the between-group data. Looking within each group, in 2009 (the most recent year for which data are available):

    There were 256 white babies aborted for every 1,000 born alive (20.4%)

    There were 1,489 black babies aborted for every 1,000 born alive (59.82%)

    So blacks are a minority in this city, yet they are aborting at 3x the rate as whites.

    Is this billboard an outrage, Pagansister?

    What about the fact that in 2009, for every 100 black babies who came into existence, 60 were wiped out in their mother’s wombs?

    Next week, the New York City Council is going to pass a Planned Parenthood and NARAL-sponsored bill that will cripple the effectiveness of our pregnancy resource centers, all of which serve communities of color. So we can expect the abortion percentages to go even higher.

    For anyone who thinks that billboard outrageous, I point to 3.3 million black and hispanic babies who were torn apart in their mother’s wombs since 1970 in NYC.

    The truth hurts.

  10. Mr Flapatap says:

    Deacon Stoltz,

    I know a number of people here in Montgomery County, MD who have dedicated their lives to help poor women facing an unplanned pregnancy with economic, medical, emotional, and (if applicable) spiritual support. I know countless of others to contribute to help them. In many cases, the aftermath of the pregnancy is the woman completing high school or getting a GED, help with care if they decide to keep the baby, and a job. What has been the reaction of abortion proponents here? Shut these places down because they don’t do abortions!

  11. Klaire says:

    Dcn. Eric quite honeslty, your comments being a Catholic Dcn. (assuming that you are indeed one), really surprise me. Are you totally unaware of the many resources for unwed poor mothers via the Catholic pro life groups? Even more so, the Sisters of LIfe, a wonderful group of nuns, are based right in NYC. I’ve been in the pro life movement for almost 10 years now, and we have NEVER not been able to help any unwed mother. From emotional support, to medical care, to home furnishings if needed, we always find the resources.

    Even more so, if the mother still can’t care for the baby, we will help them through the adoption process. Do you have any idea how many couples would LOVE to adopt an unwanted child? The waitng lists in America are miles long, and no, most don’t care about skin color.

    I’m sorry but poor is not an excuse for killing an innocent life. and we SHOULD be judging the actions of anyone, rich or poor, who makes that “choice.” Better yet, pro lifers are there to help them WITH better choices, but sadly, as this small bit of advertising has proven, most of the world doesn’t want to hear the other choices.

    Lastly, the power elite of this country don’t want minority babies, which is why the billionaries like Winfrey, Gates, Buffett, and el have made “population control” their number one goal.

    Ever wonder why Oprah or Michelle Obama, the two most influential black women in America who COULD get out the message, have never spoken out on black genocide? Follow the money.

    When it all boils down, abortion is mostly about selfishness. The selfishness to either have sex without consequences or for the elite, an additional selfishness to “save” the world and it’s resources for the “deserving/significant/”contributing”, folks.

  12. Alhtough it is not mentioned in these reports, one of the key players in getting this bulletin board down was none other than the Rev. Al Sharpton. (Washington Examiner).

    Unfortunately, the Rev. Al always seems to go where the money is. I wonder how much he received from PP on this one.

  13. Thag Jones says:

    As I understand it, the cost of prenatal care and childbirth for a mother who has no insurance is about $28,000. An abortion generally costs less than $500.

    Don’t most states have some kind of insurance for the poor? I know when I had my children (one born in CA one in OR) I was covered and I’m not even a U.S. citizen (their dad is American, that’s why I was there). I don’t blame people for feeling this pressure, but this explanation just doesn’t hold, especially given that here in Canada we have socialized health care yet our abortion rate is comparable to yours.

    Furthermore, if one does a little research it is well known that Margaret Sanger (PP’s founder) was a racist who had ties with the Nazis. If she were alive today she’d be rubbing her hands together with glee at how successful her plan was becoming, part of which was deliberately setting up clinics in poor (minority) neighbourhoods. Why anyone should be upset at having this pointed out is beyond me. Black people need to stop seeing racism where there is none and see it where it really exists.

  14. Thag Jones says:

    For folks like pagansister, what’s more offensive and insulting, a billboard stating the truth or the truth about Margaret Sanger?

  15. ron chandonia says:

    Deacon Eric, I certainly do not disagree that more enlightened social policies, including ready access to medical care and child and family-friendly workplaces, would make abortion less appealing an option for pregnant women than it is now. But the biggest “support system” a baby needs is a real family: a man and a woman who are in a loving marital relationship. In the black community, that support system has crumbled–and it has been crumbling at least since the time when Daniel Patrick Moynihan was raked over the coals for bringing the matter up. To make a dent in the abortion problem in this country, Christians need to address the breakdown of the traditional family–a crisis first evident among racial minorities but now widespread and growing.

  16. Tom says:

    Klaire

    Unbelievable or not there are area’s of this country that do not have the resources that you may currently have in your area. Education for unwed poor mothers is practically non-existant in some areas of the country and christian anti-abortion groups apply great presssure for law changes, but have done little to provide services for these women. Try Mississippi. Go to -Frontline- for a more comprehensive story. I’m not saying that this story would apply everywhere, but indeed there are areas of this country that are tremendously inadiquate to provide education, services and training for these poor women. They may not even have the “$500″ to have the abortion. “These” women are desperate and there is (no room for them at the inn), where they happen to live.

    Your obviously not like this, but there are some out there who don’t put their actions or their money where their mouth is. And more awareness of the complete picture is needed by all.

  17. pagansister says:

    Gerard N. :
    I still find it insulting to Black women, or yes, outrageous. If all those abortions you mentioned had not happened—-how many of those born would have had a life with food, love and caring parents (parent perhaps in many cases)? How many would be abused by the birth parent(s) or the “boyfriend”, and in some cases killed? How many would have been adopted, or if not “adoptable” ending up in a huge system of foster homes? How many Black babies are never adopted ? Life, as I don’t have to tell you, isn’t always easy. The women who (no matter what color) make that decision for so many reasons, no one can list them all. I certainly know your views on the subject and I respect them. No one wants to admit that a pregnancy might not always be carried to term—but it happens, always has, always will. Good? No. Going to happen? Yes.

    Klaire—even with help offered to women who request an abortion—trying to convince them to complete the pregnancy, means they still have to physically carry to term—and some are not willig to do so. Their choice. If all the help offered doesn’t work, then they still should be allowed to terminate, their choice to do so is their right, and is allowed under the law.

  18. Thag Jones says:

    I still find it insulting to Black women, or yes, outrageous. If all those abortions you mentioned had not happened—-how many of those born would have had a life with food, love and caring parents (parent perhaps in many cases)? How many would be abused by the birth parent(s) or the “boyfriend”, and in some cases killed?

    Are you implying that black people can’t take care of their kids, so they’re better off killing them in the womb? Sounds pretty insulting to me. The logic behind killing them in order to keep them from being killed later is interesting too. I’m pretty sure a good deal fewer are killed by mom’s boyfriend than by mom’s abortionist, but I may be splitting hairs.

    That something is allowed by law doesn’t make it right, or A right. There is such a thing as bad law and abortion, how ever you try to justify it, goes against natural law; it’s not just a Christian thing or a religious fairy tale. You call yourself a Pagan, but a real Pagan (like Aristotle or Plato) would be horrified by abortion. No, you are more of a Cynic.

  19. Deacon Greg Kandra says:

    Pagan…

    You’re right.

    All those kids are better off dead.

    Dcn. G.

  20. pagansister says:

    Thag, since the billboard in question is aimed at Black women, I was commenting with that in mind. So, no implications that Black women can’t take care of their children. The city I live near just had a 4 year old child killed by the “boyfriend”, so I had that in mind when I wrote the above. No, not a black child as a matter of fact. Won’t get into the “when life begins” arguement. IMO, if an abortion is done, before the 4th month should be the limit. IF indeed medical reasons happen after that—another story, and another conversation. Again my opinion, which I don’t expect you to accept.
    You mentioned Margaret Sanger. Yes, for awhile she accepted the popular eugenics theory. However she eventually abondoned the Eugenics movement. Unlike most Eugenicists she didn’t advocate birth control because she felt that certain groups shouldn’t have babies, and some should. She happened to believe that all women should be in charge of their reproduction, and that that shouldn’t be decided by social or cultural standards. Margaret did believe that poorer women who could limit their children would have a better quality of life for their families. She was also aware of birth control posing a threat to Blacks, and in the south she involved them in the starting of the PP clinics. So to answer your question, I don’t find her offensive or insulting. She was a product of her time with the Eugenics theory, but she didn’t stay with it. BTW, you never answered my question on what kind of “life” some of the totally unwanted children would have. That is another truth you don’t want to face. Not every child, no matter what shade, is wanted or treated with love and care and protection. Sometimes, yes, it is better that the woman not have the child at all.

    Yep, the bill board is still offensive to Black Women. Happy it is to be removed.

  21. romancrusader says:

    Paganister,
    Who are you going to defend next? The Nazis?

  22. Theresa says:

    Tom,

    What does “Try Mississippi” mean?

  23. pagansister says:

    Nope, romancrusader. Why do you ask?

  24. Gerard Nadal says:

    Pagansister,

    You’re right. What was I thinking????

    Hungry? Kill them.
    Less than ideal parents? Kill them.
    Poor neighborhood? Kill them.
    Have parent with substance abuse problem? Kill them.

    Newsflash Pagansis, there are no more liberals, only vulgar and deadly caricatures of what once was fifty years ago. Death is the cheap and easy solution on the left now.

    I was proudly liberal as a young man, because liberalism was taken up with finding innovative solutions to societal problems. But the Great Society has failed, and so the left’s response?? Keep up the killing until the problems go away.

    Brilliant.

  25. pagansister says:

    Gerard, you know that is not what I’m saying,(got a little carried away there, didn’t you?) but we both know that we have different views on abortion. As you already know, I’m for a woman being about to control her own reproduction, and one of the choices (and not the best) is being able to terminate or have an abortion if she feels it is the right thing to do for her. (many times I’ve said, IMO, before the 4th month—with current pregnancy tests, that’s not hard to be able to do.)
    I totallydisagree with you that death is the cheap and easy way for those on the left.
    Hope you have a good evening.

  26. Thag Jones says:

    It’s not “different views” on abortion by right view versus wrong view. I know I know, we’re not supposed to talk in moral absolutes like that in the new age of enlightenment, but there you have it.

    Thag, since the billboard in question is aimed at Black women, I was commenting with that in mind. So, no implications that Black women can’t take care of their children.

    Right, and you said:

    I still find it insulting to Black women, or yes, outrageous. If all those abortions you mentioned had not happened—-how many of those born would have had a life with food, love and caring parents (parent perhaps in many cases)? How many would be abused by the birth parent(s) or the “boyfriend”, and in some cases killed?

    Nice try at back-pedalling there, but you’re not going to catch me out that easy I’m afraid.

    I’m for a woman being about to control her own reproduction, and one of the choices (and not the best) is being able to terminate or have an abortion if she feels it is the right thing to do for her. [emphasis added]

    The problem with this moral relativism is it’s entirely based on one person’s “feelings” at a particular time. Feelings are subjective and changeable, and her feelings have nothing to do with right and wrong. Forget “feelings”; this is about the life or death of another human being. There’s a real simple solution to not getting pregnant, this age of bondage to sexual sin notwithstanding, it’s called abstinence. Too bad if it’s hard, or you “feel” like having sex; if you’re not prepared to deal with the consequences and can’t be relied upon to use proper birth control, them’s the breaks, sugar. Control your own reproduction by controlling your sexual appetite and keeping your knickers on.

  27. Thag Jones says:

    *but, not by, in the first sentence

  28. pagansister says:

    Thag: I totally agree with you that personal responsibility and abstinence is the solution to not having an unwanted pregnancy. I wish that every teen, and adult, male and female would follow that “moral” path—but let’s face it—it isn’t reality in this world—or for that matter for, centuries. Unwanted, unplanned pregnancies are nothing new, for that matter, neither is abortion. We could go into the “when does life begin” but I’m not going to start that. Upon finding themselves pregnant, a woman, IMO, has the option to either keep or stop the pregnancy. It is up to her—whether everyone agrees or not, it is ultimately up to her. She may not agree with you that there is another “life” involved. You seem to think that women make that decision easily—take my word for it—they don’t. She should ALWAYS be offered options, ALWAYS, and if she accepts, that is great. If not—then a safe termination can be done. The earlier the better—repeating myself, before 4 months.

    Yes, you copied my quotes. Nothing was backpeddling—just responding to your comments.
    Have a good evening.

  29. pagansister says:

    BTW, Thag, it IS different views on abortion—some do not agree with it under any circumstances, and some think it is a woman’s right to control her reproduction. To me, those are different “views”, which you perfer to call Moral absolutes and doesn’t allow for the choice aspect.

  30. Gerard Nadal says:

    Pagansister,

    No, I didn’t get a little carried away. You got nailed when you though no one was looking. And yes, you did mean what you said. Your words were clear enough:

    “If all those abortions you mentioned had not happened—-how many of those born would have had a life with food, love and caring parents (parent perhaps in many cases)? How many would be abused by the birth parent(s) or the “boyfriend”, and in some cases killed? How many would have been adopted, or if not “adoptable” ending up in a huge system of foster homes? How many Black babies are never adopted ?”

    Yes, the answer on the left is depopulation by whatevver means available. If birth control fails, then kill them. 53 million and counting….

  31. Klaire says:

    Tom you make an excellent point about resources not being available everywhere. I did some checking and confirmed what I believed to correct: Mississippi is one of the 10 states with less than 5% of a Catholic Population (highest are Rhode Island and California).

    While Catholics don’t “own” the pro life movement, they are indeed the biggest movers and shakers of it. Consequently, local areas don’t usually get “pro life” conscious until the Catholics start the action.

    I’m actually going to look into these 10 states with very low numbers of Catholics and hopefully find a workable solution. It appears we could use some good mission work right here in America!

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention Tom. In the meantime, prayer, especially Eucharistic prayer, is still the most powerful force against abortion.

  32. pagansister says:

    Gerard: Whatever—-point taken but not necessarily agreed with. :o ) The sign is down—fortunately and the insult to the Black women of NY and elsewhere is gone for the moment.
    Have a nice day.

  33. pagansister says:

    Gerard, I just thought—your’re saying that it is OK for a woman to have a child that she doesn’t want, and hasn’t got the good sense to put up for adoption, so she can abuse it when she loses her temper,( because the baby won’t stop crying or won’t sleep or whatever,) and might kill it in the process or the male that might currently live in the apt/house can “babysit ” and do the same thing? It’s OK, in your opinion, that the baby was born, no matter what environment it happens to be born into? IMO, if that woman totally doesn’t want the baby, she shouldn’t have it, and if she doesn’t take advantage of adoption—or outside help (which doesn’t always help an abusive situation) then she shouldn’t have it. IOW, the baby who wouldn’t be treated with love and protection from it’s biological Mom should be born anyhow. The fact it will suffer after birth is no problem, right? Only important that the woman give birth and then perhaps mistreat it? That is a better alternative than not carrying to term? Interesting. Obviously I’m using an extreme example and did so above—I just don’t understand the logic of letting a totally unwanted baby to be born to be mistreated, and perhaps killed. Just an observation.

Leave a Comment