When a Cleveland abortion facility began posting billboards in minority neighborhoods earlier this year, pro-life advocates knew they had to respond.
They saw messages targeting women of color and their unborn babies with claims that “Abortion is necessary” and “Abortion is a blessing.”
Concerned for mothers and their babies, pro-lifers with the Radiance Foundation and Coalition of Life Cleveland created their own life-affirming billboards in response.
Cleveland Scene reports a number of their black-and-white billboards have popped up in neighborhoods and near bus stops across the city area. Their messages include “Abortion is systemic racism,” “Abortion is fake feminism” and “Abortion is violence.”
A website at the bottom, WhatAbortionReallyIs.com, explains how the abortion industry targets black and other minority women and babies for abortions. It tells women that they deserve better and their babies deserve better than abortion and directs them to pregnancy centers and other health care resources.
Here’s more from the report:
The Radiance Project was extremely critical of Preterm’s billboards, claiming that 70 percent of them were racially targeted and posted in predominately black neighborhoods. According to the Ohio Department of Health, Cuyahoga County residents receiving abortions are overwhelmingly people of color.
Abortions hurt every race and culture, but black Americans have a disproportionately high number of abortions compared to other racial groups. According to census data, African Americans make up about 13 percent of the U.S. population but have about 30 percent of the abortions.
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African-American teenage abortion rates are more than twice as high as the national average. The African American abortion rate is 41 per 1,000 women ages 15 to 19, according to a study by the Guttmacher Institute. The national average abortion rate is 18 per 1,000 women ages 15 to 19.
Even more concerning, research by Protecting Black Life found that 79 percent of Planned Parenthood surgical abortion facilities are located within walking distance of black and Latino neighborhoods.
Despite this overwhelmingly negative data, the Cleveland Scene slammed the pro-life billboards as “misleading at best, and perpetuating dangerous rhetoric at worst.” It argued that women of color need better access to sex education and health care resources.
But the billboards do just that. The website links women to community health centers, pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes in the Cleveland area. Community health centers provide basic, comprehensive health services to women and families, including information about family planning; and pregnancy centers and maternity homes provide specific, often completely free resources to pregnant and parenting mothers.
The Cleveland pro-life groups encouraged women with these words: “… you don’t need abortion. You need support and love. We rise above, all the time. We’re stronger than our circumstances. The abortion industry offers nope. Life-affirming resources in your community offer hope instead.”