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Activists Fail to Censor Oakland Black Abortion Billboards

by Steven Ertelt | Oakland, CA | LifeNews.com | 6/27/11 5:12 PM

State

Pro-abortion activists have failed in their bid to take down pro-life billboards in Oakland, California that point to how abortion disproportionately affects the African-American community.

A series of billboards that highlight the ways in which abortion and the abortion industry target black Americans, sponsored by the Ryan Bomberger-led Radiance Foundation and black pro-life pastor Walter Hoye, feature the phrase “Black and Beautiful.” The billboards, which have run in states like Texas, Georgia, Arkansas, Wisconsin and elsewhere are placed throughout Oakland. They appeared in Los Angeles earlier this year.

The two African-American pro-life advocates say the campaign comes on the anniversary of legalized abortion in California through the Therapeutic Abortion Act of 1967.  That year, there were 518 legal abortions but, today, California is the nation’s abortion capital with over 214,190 abortions performed each year at the numerous abortion businesses throughout the Golden State. Bomberger and Hoye say the CDC reports that the black abortion rate is over three times that of the majority population — differences which cannot be explained by “health care disparities.”

However, pro-abortion activists pressured CBS Outdoor General Manager Jeff McCuen to remove the 60 billboards. Congresswoman Barbara Lee helped lead the effort and she condemned the pro-life celebration of African-American babies by saying, “I am deeply offended by the race-based billboards that are being displayed in my congressional district. These billboards stigmatize women of color and perpetuate myths about parenting skills and the types of women who seek and use abortion services.”

Asian Reproductive Rights, the California chapter of Trust Black Women, and Black Women For Wellness joined the pressure effort, according to East Bay Express. However, McCuen told Eveline Shen, Executive Director of Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice that they would not come down.

“The Radiance ads are within the standards we apply to all submissions, and we would apply those same standards in deciding whether to accept an ad presenting an opposing viewpoint,” McCuen wrote, according to the newspaper. “At the end of the day we have faith in the public’s ability to use their judgment with regard to the issues involved in this debate.”

Hoye and Bomberger say the billboards have received a positive response, with Hoye saying, “I’m pleased with all the coverage we’ve gotten.”

“It’s hard to look at a billboard that says black and beautiful and say that that’s a racist statement,” Bomberger added. “Especially when abortion is destroying the Black community.”

“The impact of abortion in the Black Community is the Darfur of America,” Hoye declared, citing the 15 million abortions on black unborn children since 1973 that he says have crippled the black community.

Bomberger, who created the TooManyAborted.Com campaign and is an adoptee and adoptive father, chimed in, saying, “Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion chain, is a failure. They haven’t budged the national unintended pregnancy rate since 1995 but are relentlessly dedicated to increasing their annual share of abortions. They heavily advocate a singular ‘choice’ that feeds their $1 billion dollar tax-payer subsidized budget.”

La Verne Tolbert, Ph.D., a former Board Member of Planned Parenthood, applauded the new billboards and said they are needed to expose the Planned Parenthood abortion agenda and how it targets minority communities and works through the education system to do so.

“In California, children are targeted for abortions through school-based clinics and school-linked clinics, which are family planning clinics on or near school grounds,” Tolbert explained. “Girls are taken off campus to a Planned Parenthood clinic, where abortions are performed without parental consent or notification.”

Bomberger, who was, as a child, transracially adopted into a multi-racial family of 15 people and who is now an adoptive father, told LifeNews.com: “Taxpayer-funded Planned Parenthood aborted 324,008 innocent lives and only made 2,405 adoption referrals according to their own latest Annual Report; that’s 135 children killed for every 1 adoption referral.”

In fact, the CDC report from February shows black women accounted for 34.4 percent of all abortions in the United States despite comprising a much lower percentage of the population as a whole. The federal health agency showed black women had the highest abortion rates (32.1 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years) and ratios (480 abortions per 1,000 live births).

Previous billboard campaigns have taken place in Atlanta, Georgia; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Texas, and Arkansas.

In Georgia in 2006, 57.4 percent of abortions in Georgia are performed on African-American women even though blacks comprise just 30 percent of the general population.

In Texas, abortions on black women comprise nearly 25% of all state abortions even though they only constitute 12.7% of the female population (ages 15-44). Every other racial demographic shares a smaller percentage of statewide abortions than their respective percentage of total population.

ACTION: Support the billboards by emailing jeff.mccuen@cbsoutdoor.com, calling (510) 559-1135 or (510) 527-3350 and emailing patrick.roche@cbsoutdoor.com, sljacobs@cbs.com, and jodi.senese@cbsoutdoor.com