NYC Anti-Abortion Ad Is Coming Down–but the Real Battle’s Just Begun

The ad targeted black women and caused national outrage.

By Jamilah King Feb 24, 2011

Well, that was quick. Just days after anti-abortion activists put up a huge billboard in Manhattan targeting black women, massive community outpour has led to news that the ad is coming down.

The ad is just the latest in a series of high-profile billboards from anti-abortion group Life Always. This one features an adorable-looking black girl in a pink dress and matching bow in her hair. Above the girl read the words, "The Most Dangerous Place for an African-American is in the Womb." The little girl is 6-year-old Anissa Fraser, and her mother is pissed. My Fox New York reported Thursday that Tricia Frasier, Anissa’s mom, demanded that the billboard be removed.

Then on Thursday afternoon, Planned Parenthood of New York posted the following message on Facebook:

It is with great joy that I write to report that Lamar Outdoor Advertising has agreed to pull the billboard on 6th Ave and Watts depicting an African-American girl with the disturbing tagline "The most dangerous place for African Americans is in the Womb" TODAY.

Following a letter to Peter Costanza, Vice President and General Manager of LaMar Billboards, written by the Women of Color Policy Network, NYU Wagner, Mr. Costanza responded affirmatively that they would remove the billboard. I truly believe that our collective quick action, phone calls and letters to the company are directly responsible for their decision to pull the ad.

However, we must remain vigilant. Life Always is committed to spreading the campaign throughout country and there are continued threats to access to the full range of reproductive health services for low-income women and communities.

Earlier this week, Gothamist was one of the first sites to report that the board had gone up. The reaction online was loud and swift. The Crunk Feminist Collective wrote about the ad’s placement in the larger context of right wing attacks on reproductive justice. The Trust Black Women Partnership issued four talking points for outraged women to express their anger.

Yet just because the board may be coming down doesn’t mean that the right wing assault against women of color is over. Miriam Perez’s run down for of what that assault looks like so far is a must read. And our gender columnist Akiba Solomon has already brought us horrific stories on how women of color suffer most from shoddy reproductive health options.

But we want to know what you think. Give us your two cents in the comments.