Abortion Rights Blog

The national pro-choice campaign

Race: the new target for anti-abortion groups

American pro-choice groups have hit back at a new anti-abortion campaign claiming that “black children are an endangered species”. The campaign, launched in Georgia by the group Right to Life, accuses abortion providers of targeting African Americans in a racist conspiracy that is a successor to slavery.

According to government statistics, around 40% of pregnancies among black women end in terminations, a fact Right to Life is using as the centrepiece of their strategy in regions with a high black population. Billboards, rallies, and church meetings are being held to spread a race-based, anti-abortion message. Right to Life spokesperson Catherine Davis has claimed, “There is no lynch mob wearing white sheets and hoods. What they’ve done is take off the hoods, put on suits, and say: let’s go and kill the black people.”

Pro-choice activists have condemned the campaign, calling it “offensive and manipulative.” Right for Life’s advertisments have been designed to attract the support of African Americans who remain suspicious of the medical industry after historic discrimination and mistreatment. Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger was a vocal supporter of eugenics, a fact which has been highlighted by Right to Life in their campaign.

Heidi Williamson of SisterSong, an organisation aimed at women from racial minorities, said, “They are taking facts and misrepresenting them to make people be fearful. They are playing on fears already in the community, the mistrust because of the history.” Pro-choice groups have also accused Right to Life of ignoring the real cause of higher rates of termination, such as poverty, and lack of access to contraception.