Jamilah King and Gender Matters blogger Akiba Solomon have been covering the furor stoked by an anti-choice billboard targeting African Americans in lower Manhattan. The billboard, which was placed by Louisiana-based Lamar Advertising and has been removed after widespread outrage, declared, “The most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb.” It directed people to the site ThatsAbortion.com. Similar billboards have turned up in cities around the country, and today eagle-eyed Colorlines reader Quizzical1 sent in the above photo of one in Los Angeles, on Western Ave., near the entrance to I-10.
The Los Angeles billboard is the same version that appeared in Atlanta last year.* At the time, one of the campaign’s leaders told the New York Times that the group had already put up 65 billboards and planned to put up 80 in total. Many people assumed they were all in Georgia, where the campaign is based, but clearly they are targeting California as well.
The Georgia and Los Angeles billboards, which are sponsored by The Issues4Life Foundation and The Radiance Foundation, direct viewers to the website TooManyAborted.com. That site invites visitors to sponsor more billboards, stating that “Corporate sponsorships are between $5,000 and $10,000.” It’s unclear who, if anyone sponsored the campaign in Los Angeles. The site also explains that the campaign was developed by Ryan Bomberger, an adoption and foster care advocate, and includes a now-familiar description of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger’s early 20th century involvement with eugenics. Colorlines Publisher Rinku Sen articulated earlier this week why that history isn’t relevant to today’s concerns for women of color.
Both the Lamar Advertising and the Bomberger campaigns are part of a new tactic for the anti-choice movement: Convince black people that reproductive rights are somehow a genocide against black babies, one presumably orchestrated by white liberal elites. Wisconsin Rep. Gwen Moore did a fine job of debunking that madness when the House voted to defund Planned Parenthood last week. But it’s certain to grow from here. Colorlines contributor Miriam Zoila Perez will have more detail on the anti-choice movement’s new race-based strategy next week.
*A previous version of this post incorrectly stated that the Atlanta billboards appeared in February 2011.