Friday, February 25, 2011

Billboard in NYC stirs debate

A billboard in SoHo, situated a half a mile from a Planned Parenthood center, has sparked angry debate in New York. It depicts an African-American toddler in a pink sundress under the words "The most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb." The claim is related to the recently published statistics about abortion in New York City, where three out of every five pregnancies by African American women are terminated with elective abortion. The billboard is sponsored by Life Always, an advocacy group in Texas that plans to bring the billboard to other cities as well, but started with New York to coincide with Black History Month.

City Council member Christine C. Quinn was quoted in the New York Times, expressing the anger that many feel about the billboard: "To refer to a woman’s legal right to an abortion as a ‘genocidal plot’ [as Rev. Michael J. Faulkner, of the New Horizon Church in Harlem, did] is not only absurd, but it is offensive to women and to communities of color. Every woman deserves the right to make health care decisions for herself, and I will continue to fight to protect this basic right and against this sort of fear mongering." Ms Quinn apparently does not look upon herself as a defender of the rights unborn women in the womb have to good health care and eventual moral autonomy.

To those upset by the billboard in New York City, we must answer with the great novelist Walker Percy in his 1981 letter to the New York Times, "To the pro-abortionists: according to the opinion polls, it looks as if you may get your way. But you're not going to have it both ways. You're going to be told what you're doing."

You can read the full Times account of the controversy here.

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