This year, Georgia Right to Life has launched a controversial ad campaign. Numerous billboards have appeared around Atlanta with the message “Black Children Are An Endangered Species.” These billboards are an effort to draw attention to the fact that African American women obtain a disproportionate number of abortions in Georgia.
Not surprisingly, the New York Times took issue with the ads. On Friday, they ran an article which argued that the ads were misleading since the fertilty rate for black women in Georgia remains higher than the national average.
The Times, however, misses the point of the ads. The fact that a disproportionately high percentage of abortions are performed on black women is not well known outside of pro-life circles. Neither is the fact that Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger was a proponent of eugenics. These pieces of information might be of interest to the black community, especially since many surveys show that African-Americans are more likely to describe themselves as “pro-life” than whites.
This ad campaign marks an important step. Unfortunately, the pro-life movement has not always invested much in minority outreach. Generating both more discusssion about abortion and more interest in pro-life activism among minorities might pay some real dividends. Furthermore, the fact that these ads have already received nationwide media coverage is no small accomplishment. This nicely demonstrates that supporters of legal abortion fear the potential of this ad campaign.
— Michael J. New is an assistant professor at the University of Alabama and a fellow at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, N.J.