- (Photo: www.abortioninthehood.com via The Christian Post)
A group of pro-life activists launched a billboard campaign to voice what its members see as a failure on the part of African-American leaders to address the rate of abortions among black Americans.
"Something is wrong," says Catherine Davis, president of the Restoration Project located in Georgia, "when those elected to protect the interests of their constituents turn a blind eye to the horrific impact that abortion is wreaking on the black community."
Davis and a handful of other pro-life groups, have put their support behind a billboard campaign called "Betrayed," which calls on African-American politicians to take a serious look at the rate of abortions among black Americans.
The posting of the billboard, erected in downtown Atlanta, was supported by the Restoration Project, National Black Prolife Union, the Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education (CURE), Priests for Life, Missouri Blacks for Life, and 818 The Sign. A website, located at www.abortioninthehood.com, was launched to share the project's purpose.
"We believe that black women and children are being targeted," Davis told The Christian Post Wednesday, citing Planned Parenthood as the alleged culprit.
Planned Parenthood offers a variety of health-related services for men, women, and children. The non-profit organization is also the nation's leading provider of abortions.
Davis did not offer any possible motivation as to why black women and children might be targeted, as she believes. "Whatever the reason, it needs to stop," Davis said.
"In New York City, for every 1,000 black babies born alive, 1,489 are aborted," Davis claimed. "In Washington, D.C., for every 100 black babies born alive, 165 are aborted. Something is wrong!"
African-American politicians need to step up and do something about it, Davis told CP.
"If there is a racial motivation to abortion, then they should sponsor some legislation to ensure that the black community" is not being purposefully targeted, Davis said.
Davis mentioned the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), whose members she insists "have not given voice to this issue."
In May, women of the CBC wrote a letter to Democratic women in the U.S. Senate, "praising them for their indispensible work in defeating the proposed defunding of Planned Parenthood in the Fiscal Year 2011."
The letter also called on lawmakers to ensure that low-income women in Washington, D.C., would have affordable access to abortions.
CBC's communications director, Stephanie L. Young, has yet to respond to CP's request for a comment.
One member of the CBC is Congressman John Lewis, a Democrat representing Georgia.
Lewis' spokesperson, Brenda Jones, told CP on Wednesday that Davis and the organizations supporting the "Betrayed" campaign are simply trying to create division among African Americans.
Jones, speaking on behalf of Rep. Lewis, made the following statement:
"Billboards are paid advertising space for organizations who have their own agenda. In this case, it seems the backers are using an age-old practice, trying to create division in the black community to achieve their aims. One thing is clear, African Americans have the intellect, the capacity and the power to set their own agenda and to determine the most central issues affecting their own communities. With a rate of 16 percent unemployment, jobs is their primary focus."
Davis has previously worked on billboard campaigns with Ryan Bomberger of The Radiance Foundation and Georgia Right to Life to draw attention to abortion rates among African Americans.
Davis, who calls herself an "ambassador of Jesus Christ," said, "We are praying that everyone takes a look at the numbers."
"This issue is not an issue of a woman's right to choose. This issue is an issue of life basically for the black community. If we do not stop aborting our children at this rate, there will be no black community."
The Christian Post contacted Planned Parenthood Wednesday morning to seek a comment on Davis' allegations.
Eric Blankenbaker, a communications assistant at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said he would relate CP's request to the proper party.
At the time of publication, Planned Parenthood had yet to offer a comment.
In its 2007 surveillance report on abortions, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that "black women had higher abortion rates and ratios than white women and women of other races."
The CDC's reported also noted: "Comparatively high abortion rates and ratios among black women have been attributed to higher unintended pregnancy rates and a higher percentage of unintended pregnancies ending in abortion."
Low income is one possible factor the CDC proposes in why a greater proportion of black women and adolescents obtained abortions in the period covered by its study.