New racist anti-choice billboard campaign to target Latinas

Billboard that reads, The most dangerous place for a Latino is in the womb

The racist trope regarding abortion rates in African American communities, promoted primarily through billboard campaigns, has expanded to include Latinas.

According to the Daily Caller, the billboard pictured is set to show up in Los Angeles next week, connected to a group called Latino Partnership for a Conservative Principles. Among the board members of the group is Luis Fortuno, the Governor of Puerto Rico.

The message is very similar to the billboard that we fought against in Manhattan earlier this year, with a few exceptions. This billboard is bilingual, which means that in the Spanish version of the statement the word madre (mother) appears, and is emphasized. In the English version that attacked African-American women, the word mother, even the word woman, was entirely absent. It was a shocking contrast to the fact that the ads themselves were actually targeting Black women as the ones putting Black children in danger, even though they never actually mentioned them.

I’m disgusted, but not particularly surprised. Like Steph, as a Latina, I’m angry that my community is being targeted. But I’m not more angry than I was when I saw the first billboards attacking African-American women. I already felt attacked by those original billboards, because these tactics aren’t actually about the communities they target.

They are instead about attacking abortion, trying to race bait, divide the pro-choice community along racial lines. They implicitly make women of color the culprit, the ones responsible for this myth of genocide in our communities. Whether it’s African-American women, or Latinas, or Indigenous women–they are simply using women of color to forward their anti-choice agenda.

Regardless of whether they are attacking your community, they are attacking all of us and we need to fight back.

I’ll keep an eye out for any action items targeting these billboards and post them.

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4 Comments

  1. Posted June 8, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Oh no. No. These antis are NOT speaking on my behalf. They care no more about our ethnicity than our gender and everybody knows it.

  2. Posted June 8, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Since the billboard doesn’t make any direct reference to abortion, maybe this can be spun to our benefit, and list the real reasons why a latina womb may be a dangerous place for a fetus, like lack of access to health care, domestic violence, lack of prenatal care, AIDS, lack of contraception, religious ideology, teen pregnancy, etc… in this respect, then yes, a latina/black womb is dangerous, and its all the more reason why we need Planned Parenthood and social reform.

    In other words, use their own crap ideology against them.

  3. Posted June 8, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    i think the argument, properly understood, isn’t about attacking mothers of color (whether black or latina) at all, despite how the author of the article frames it, and despite how the billboards may be an ineffective tool to convey it. instead, the argument, which i think deserves attention, is this: the combination of 1) disproportionate poverty/under-insurance among women of color, 2) the availability of abortion, and 3) a system where poor mothers have very little societal support, creates the conditions in which women of color to receive abortions at a higher rate than white women. women of color aren’t necessarily making a free choice if the basis of their choice is an inability to provide for the child, and should not to be blamed. rather, it is the conditions of poverty and the failure of the government to respond to those conditions in a meaningful way that is to be blamed, to the extent women are aborting because of lack of resources. in addition, white women disproportionately have the free choice of whether to keep a child or not, insofar as white women have access to more resources. it is in this context that availability of abortion might be considered a public mechanism (and the product of white supremacy) that functions to avoid a meaningful response to poverty at the expense of children of color (or potential children, however you look at it).

    • Posted June 10, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      I’ll believe that’s their argument when they all start offering to help more actively with the children born to women who may not be able to afford them or better yet, work actively towards eradicating a social structure of ingrained racism and class strata that creates this discrepancy in the first place.

      And acknowledge that even without those factors, there may be women of color who, for any number of personal reasons, just don’t want to have a baby.

      Until then, I’m gonna stick with my idea that it appears they are trying to conflate the anti-choice agenda with racial identity, both in the instances of the billboard with the African-American little girl and this billboard.

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