Black women in Atlanta are mad as hell right now over an ad campaign that is taking up dozens of billboards throughout Atlanta. ABC reported that the anti-abortion campaign is run by African Americans. The billboards show a black baby’s face with ‘Endangered Species’ glaring over his head. Billboard designer, Ryan Bomberger, who is black, explained that his organization wants to raise the awareness of the staggering statistics that fuel the campaign.
According to the Georgia Department of Community Health more than 35,000 abortions were performed in Georgia in 2008, but nearly 21,000 of those abortions were African American women. That number represents nearly twice the abortions of white women in the same year. Even more alarming is the ratio of pregnancy from black women to white women. According to the Centers for Disesase Control and Prevention, black women are 1.5 times more likely to get pregnant than white women and 3 times more likely to get an abortion than white women.
It’s one thing to get an abortion and you consider it a dark time in your life that you would rather forget and it only happened once…maybe even twice. But, when black women start using it as a form of birth control, all black women must see it as a problem. The celebration has gone out of the lives of black children entering our world and the devastation and destruction has set in. Personally, I’d rather see any woman decide to get an abortion rather than bring another child into the world to be mistreated and/or abused. Because what a lot of us fail to realize is that these damaged children grow up to be damaged adults with nothing but destructive thoughts on their mind.
The ABC report also touches on the historical aspect of abortions in the black community. The idea of abortions being a form of extinction; a way of blotting out the African American existance was born in the 1940s, according to the report. But that has long been thwarted as an idea when women started feeling liberated in the 70s over having the right to choose what they do with their own bodies. But that idea was inappropriately adopted by black women from the feminist movement and the idea of black women being in control of their own bodies was something that black women had long fought for from slavery to now. So, of course this way of thinking was appealing.
Loretta Ross has been the national coordinator for SisterSong for 14 years. Her agency has fought for the rights of african american women to receive abortions. She explained that “To a black woman, when you talk about not being able to control the timing and the spacing of our children, guess what that harkens back to…slavery. Why should we be discriminated against and then have you suggest that ‘but it’s for the good of the race.’ ”
But the idea that black women are not in control of the “timing and spacing” of children seems antiquated. What black women out there, of any socioeconomic group, are being denied birth control methods? The lower the income the freer this stuff becomes. And I, in no way, endorse the ad campaign that is running in the city of Atlanta, but I do believe that campaign or not, we need to take responsibility and stop pointing the finger at anyone other than ourselves when we do not take the necessary precautions to prevent unwanted pregnancies and/or STD’s that affect the black community everyday.
Check out the ABC News report here.