Worse Than Slavery? Black Women and Families Face Extreme Accusations from Roadside Campaign

Last weekend, on the day designated to celebrate the abolition of slavery, an anti-abortion group decided to exploit the observance of Juneteenth to spread a demeaning and insulting message to the black community. Through billboards erected throughout the Atlanta area, the group makes the outrageous assertion that a black woman's private health decision is more harmful than slavery. These billboards accuse black women who have made the difficult and personal decision to end a pregnancy of making slavery "seem overly generous."

As an organization dedicated to fighting the legacy of slavery and institutionalized racism in Georgia and throughout the country, we at the ACLU of Georgia were stunned and horrified when we learned of the campaign. All women facing an unintended pregnancy — regardless of race — should have the opportunity and support they need to make the best decisions for themselves and their families, whether that is continuing the pregnancy and parenting, adoption, or abortion,

No matter how you feel about abortion, we should all be able to agree that a black woman who has had an abortion should not be singled out and degraded like this as a means of advancing an ideological agenda. From forced sterilizations to the experiments at Tuskegee, there is a long and disgraceful history in this country of regulating and exploiting black women's and men's bodies and basic dignity. By suggesting that black women and families cannot be trusted, and their decisions about childbearing must be regulated and controlled for their own good, these billboards are a part of the same pattern of denigration and oppression.

This publicity stunt is distracting from the issues that truly matter. About 35 percent of black children live in poverty. That is more than double the rate for white children. The infant mortality rate for black children in Washington, D.C., for example, rivals that of some undeveloped nations. If those behind these billboards and this hateful rhetoric were truly concerned about the health and welfare of the African-American community, and the meaning of Juneteenth, they would fight to ensure that everyone has access to quality health care; to increase support for programs that build safe schools, safe communities, access to jobs, and basic necessities like food and shelter.

In Georgia, the ACLU has fought zero tolerance policies, criminalization of youth, policing of schools and school disciplinary practices that disproportionately impact our children and feed the School-to-Prison Pipeline. These policies, and others like them that push black children out of school, have to be challenged. The failure to educate black children, the increasing achievement gap, and the increasing poverty rates and isolation of black children are signs of how we value these children after they are born. It sends a message to the child and to the community, and it is devastating.

Where's the billboard about that?

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Cwallis21

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't abortions more common amongst whites than non-whites?

Steve

I guess the truth hurts those that make millions from sucking the umborn into a sink. Follow the money.

Anonymous

So does posting on this website work?

Anonymous

To Cwallis21: I believe so. Sick world we live in; now more than ever.

Anonymous

You're very wrong. For all of you abortion supporters, I am glad that your parents veiwed you as a human and didn't kill you. Jesus died for my sins as well as your, trust in Him and live.

Anita H.

What's extreme about pointing out what the CDC reports every year? There are more abortions in the black community--3 times as many--than in any other. What is the threshold of acceptable levels of abortion? As a black woman, I'm tired of every issue being swept under the rug. I like the campaign. Our younger generation needs to understand responsibility before, during and after pregnancy.

Anonymous

i believe you're wrong cwallis21.. i dont know if it's actually true but from what i heard a black priest or something said that blacks make up the majority when it comes to aborting their fetus

Anonymous

White women have more abortions than any group yet they carry no stigma by the fringe groups or the media. Hypocracy at its finest.

Anonymous

All women wouldn't need abortions if men didn't impregnate them. That's the real issue here. Stop trying to stop abortions and start preventing men from spreading their seed.
Furthermore, the world would be better off if all the Christians had been fed to the lions.

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