“Black children are an endangered species.”
That is the message you will see in gigantic letters on 80 billboards in Georgia. This message, alongside pictures of African American infants, is plastered almost exclusively across Dekalb County and Fulton County, areas with some of the highest concentrations of black residents in the state. There is no coincidence that Georgia House Bill 1155 and Georgia Senate Bill 529, which seek to criminalize “race-based” abortions, are currently making their way through the Georgia legislature.
A concerted effort by the Georgia Right To Life group for the last year to target the black community is the genesis behind these bills. According to www.TooManyAborted.com, the organization behind the billboard blitz, Dekalb County and Fulton County are also where 67% of Georgia abortions are performed. On March 26th, 2010 the Georgia Senate passed SB 529, the Coercion and Non-discrimination ban. The bill passed through the Georgia Senate 33-13 and now heads to the Georgia House of Representatives. The bill is a companion to House Bill 1155, the Prenatal Non-discrimination act.
These proposed bills would make it illegal for anyone to solicit or coerce a woman to have an abortion “based in any way on account of the race, color, or sex of the unborn child.” Doctors would face up to 10 years in prison if they perform an abortion despite knowing that the woman has been coerced. The women who get the abortions would not be criminally liable at all, the bill states.
A concerted effort by the Georgia Right To Life group for the last year to target the black community is the genesis behind these legislative bills. According to www.TooManyAborted.com, the organization behind the billboard blitz, Dekalb County and Fulton County are also where 67% of Georgia abortions are performed.
In 2009, Georgia Right To Life took money that it normally used for advertising a pregnancy hot line and hired a black woman, Catherine Davis, to be its minority outreach coordinator.
Ms. Davis traveled to black churches and colleges around the state, delivering the message that abortion is the primary tool in a decades-old conspiracy to kill off blacks.
Across the country, the anti-abortion movement, long viewed as almost exclusively white and Republican, is turning its attention to African-Americans and encouraging black abortion opponents across the country to become more active.
To Court Blacks, Foes of Abortion Make Racial Case, New York Times
Catherine Davis, the Georgia Right To Life’s Minority Outreach coordinator, was an unsuccessful Republican candidate in Georgia’s 4th congressional district in 2006, a seat currently held by Democratic congressman Hank Johnson.
It “sends a strong signal to women that it is okay to set up categories of discrimination against women who seek abortions,” said Loretta Ross, executive director of the Atlanta-based SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective, a coalition of reproductive rights organizations opposed to the proposed Georgia abortion law. Pulitzer Prize winner and nationally syndicated columnist Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Journal Constitution has also weighed in on the abortion bills, calling them “patently unconstitutional” and “incredibly foolish” for “adding race to the abortion controversy.”