Behind the Billboards

Photo of billboard with a young black child's face and the words "black children are an endangered species"

My latest article for Colorlines went up today, an in-depth look into the black anti-choice movement behind the recent billboard campaigns. The subtitle reads:

On more than 170 billboards nationwide, a campaign is exploiting America’s racist medical history to foster the belief that abortion is black genocide.

The research for this piece was intense–it required a lot of time spent on anti-choice websites, reading their rhetoric and language. It also required wrapping my mind around 100 plus years of history of eugenics and discriminatory policies on behalf of the US government toward women of color, low-income women and disabled women’s reproduction.

It also included the opportunity to interview Dorothy Roberts, an amazing activist and researcher and expert in this arena. If you haven’t read her seminal work, Killing the Black Body, drop everything and go find a copy. Seriously. Her work lays out so extensively how the battle for reproductive rights in this country has been racialized from the start–a fact that our movement often neglects.

I’ll leave you with one of her quotes from the piece:

“They are essentially blaming black women for their reproductive decisions and then the solution is to restrict and regulate black women’s decisions about their bodies,” Roberts says of the burgeoning black anti-abortion movement. “Ironically, they have that in common with eugenicists.”

Read the whole thing here.

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