During Black History Month an anti-abortion billboard posted by conservative individuals in Texas read,
“The Most Dangerous Place For An African-American Is In The Womb.”
This billboard ad caused quite a commotion for the residents in SoHo and all of those who saw it.
Such disrespect! This billboard didn’t only attack women within the Black Community, but the men as well. It attacked our sisters, our mothers, our daughters, aunts, cousins, wives, significant others, and grandmothers. This was a blow to a culture as a whole. I’m sure the Black community entirely shares the same disgust and outrage towards the billboard.
The billboard not only showed the lack of respect for the Black Community but questioned the true motives of the anti-abortion group. Many people of color believe it’s simply because of racism and rightfully so. The demeaning of our race. They also believe that this attack is a “low-blow”, a cowardly approach and of course a false statement. It is unfair to point fingers, specially display such offensive beliefs where hundreds of thousands of people can view. If the groups purpose was to create an outlandish display of their point of view, with out any conscious knowledge of the impact………. they made their point. The billboard wasn’t an effective way to showcase such a message. Specially in an area that has a low percentage of black residents. It’s evident the billboard was an attack. Its sole purpose was to hurt, offend, and demean the African American community. I’m repulsed by their actions.
But ladies, this brings me to my next point. We must take into account the numbers of statistics which draws such stigmas. According to the NYC Health Department African American women had the highest rate of abortions in 2009 by almost 40% and Hispanics, the second highest following by 20%. HUGE difference. Don’t get me wrong, a woman has the right to choose. If ANY woman makes a personal choice as to which best meets her needs, she has the right to do so.
Morality isnt the issue here. No I don’t believe your going to burn in hell and that you took an innocent life, and now branded as a murderer. The issue is our responsibility of avoiding such stigmas. Yes we have every right to be upset, but in doing so we must prevent the stigmas which are used against us. Planned Parenthood states that 82% of their programs are pregnancy prevention methods and only 3% are of termination. I agree that “things happen”, but there are many ways to prevent them from occurring. We have many prevention methods in which are accessible to us. We should take advantage of them as well as educating each other of those methods. Some women within our community aren’t aware of these methods until after an unwanted pregnancy. I agree the limitation of sexual education plays a huge role in the high number of unwanted pregnancies and hence, abortions.
My concern is also the health risk. Studies show a minimum of 500 women die each day within the United States due to termination complications. With abortions we increase our chances of future miscarriages, breast cancer, depressive illnesses, and sadly even becoming barren, unable to get pregnant. The most threatening one being death. The only way to absolutely prevent pregnancy is abstinence. Proper use of contraceptives are also highly effective, but keep in mind it isn’t 100% prevention from pregnancy. There are many cases where women who religiously practiced contraceptives methods still ended up with child. Either way ladies, do what you have to do. Just be aware that if pregnancy isn’t within your timeline right now… prevent it from occurring so you can avoid the health risks of making such a hard decision if you so choose to abort the pregnancy. Or worse, an anti-abortion group ridiculing and demeaning our community.
We have a responsibility to our community to educate our children, family and even friends. We must willingly sexually educate our children of ways to prevent unwanted pregnancies. This seems to be an issue within our community. Statistics proves that Caucasian families are less likely to have a teenage pregnancy within their households due to their effective ways of providing sexual education. We must be more open and willing to speak to our children( Our children mostly because they’re the ones at risk of teenage pregnancies, and a high percentage of abortions), that way they’re just as educated of the risks as any other race. And if all else fails….have them spend a day in a Preschool or Daycare of over twenty 3-5 yr olds running, screaming, and causing havoc. Trust me…that should do it!
In conclusion, the bill board was outright disrespectful and nothing will excuse those responsible of the message and of putting up the ad. They should be dealt with in terms of legal action as well as imposing a public apology… probably not going to happen. Those bastards! A woman is liable to make her own choice. Prevention methods are most effective and healthy. We shouldn’t limit ourselves as a culture in regards to the types of education we provide to our community. Not only will it prevent stigmas, but health risks, depressive illnesses, and most importantly….Death.
Sexual Education is imperative.
Written By: Judith Jacques
Disclaimer: All views expressed in this post is that of the author and not BLACK STREET entirely.