Black Women Don’t Need Billboards.

I’ve a piece up at The American Prospect exploring how anti-choicers use fear of the “abortion industry,” genocide, and race-based coercion to … coerce black women into not having abortions:

In Atlanta, Georgia, a billboard campaign that started this month proclaims that “black children are an endangered species.” On the campaign’s Web site,, the Radiance Foundation alludes to Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger’s support of eugenics and cites the disproportionately high number of unintended pregnancies and abortions among black women. The campaign is part of a new push by anti-choice advocates to exploit unequal access for reproductive-health services and black-genocide conspiracy theories (including the problematic history of Sanger) to further their agenda. As a quote displayed prominently on another anti-choice Web site,, reads, “The most dangerous place for an African American to be is in the womb of their African American mother.”

Poor women have four times as many unintended pregnancies as women who live above the federal poverty line. Among black women — who are more than twice as likely to be poor than white women — the numbers are even more dramatic. Sixty-nine percent of their pregnancies are unintended, and they have 37 percent of all abortions, a number wildly disproportionate to their representation in the population.

Black women may be having more abortions, but that doesn’t prove that they’re being coerced into having them. The only thing it proves is that black women are disproportionately having pregnancies they didn’t intend. According to the Guttmacher Institute, the top two reasons all women give for having abortions are that they don’t have the support of a partner and that they cannot afford to have a child. There’s no reason to believe that black women have abortions with a different motivation.

Read the rest here.

UPDATE. A statistical analysis of the genocide claims from a friend of a friend of the blog, Carl, here:

…note that both black women and women who have had 3+ babies are at highest risk of repeat abortions. So while black women are more likely to obtain multiple abortions, this may imply that they are also more likely to be mothers thrice over.

Now, if you’ve given birth to 3 children, you are already reproducing above the replacement rate of 2.1 children per couple. I’d think that the mark of any well executed genocidal campaign would be that the population in question would be shrinking. But blacks have higher birth and fertility rates than whites and the black population is projected to grow over the next century, both in absolute terms and as a percentage of the American population.

If the masterminds behind the black genocide are real, I think we can at least conclude that they are incompetent.

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  • soma lux

    what about the quality of life for the children who are already here? would a larger population be better off than we are now? in no way does my last question advocate for eugenics or its agencies, i’m simply pointing to the fact that until we can improve existing life on this planet, higher number might not matter (unless we were unified like latin communities, which clearly we are not).

    here’s a quote i just saw on the subject “Any disproportionate numbers of abortions by Black women are due to the complete failure of Black men and Western Capitalism to create the conditions which would obviate their need.”

  • Buckley

    I work at a Catholic college and I hear this argument made often. What I find most problematic is that it is disingenuous because the goal is not to promote reproductive health but rather to stop pre-marital sex. So it doesn’t matter that places like planned parenthood offer other medical services, because those services are largely deemed unnecessary by my colleagues.
    Further, because we are an overwhelmingly white college with little interaction with non-white communities, I fear that this line of argument is meant to drum up hatred of planned parenthood-esq workers rather than honestly provide support for Black mothers. And I fear that when one group tries to drum up irrational hatred of another violence follows….

  • Thanks for writing about this. Loving Carl’s last sentence, “If the masterminds behind the black genocide are real, I think we can at least conclude that they are incompetent.” I’ve been saying just that very thing for so long. Honestly… I’d think some decades old plot to eliminate Black folks would be a bit more creative than targeting Black mothers for abortion services. le sigh.

  • K

    Soma lux, can you clarify what you mean by this “…until we can improve existing life on this planet, higher number might not matter (unless we were unified like latin communities, which clearly we are not).”

    What do you mean by “unified”? And which mythical Latin communities are you referring to?

  • soma lux

    I live on the border between Downtown Los Angeles and a neighborhood called Westlake that is predominantly Mexican. Spanish speaking people look out for each other and have a very strong sense of community here as well as in my hometown of Chicago. Perhaps its the language that keeps them more unified in general. I’m not saying Latin communities are little utopias but they appear to a lot more unified.

    For all those that shout out against abortion, I say what about the children that are already here who may be suffering?

  • This quote from the NYT’s story on this push is really disturbing:

    “Before we saw the movie, I was pro-choice,” said Markita Eddy, a sophomore. But were she to get pregnant now, Ms. Eddy said, “it showed me that maybe I should want to keep my child no matter what my position was, just because of the conspiracy.”