Response to Racist Billboards in Missouri

By Claire, Communications Intern

Excerpt from commentary by Tishaura O. Jones, Assistant Minority Floor Leader and Representative of District 63 in St. Louis, proud mother, and supporter and client of Planned Parenthood.  In regard to anti-choice billboards targeting low-income black communities with anti-abortion and anti-Planned Parenthood messages.

Representative Jones says her mother told her to go to Planned Parenthood because it was a place she could trust, a place that would care for her.  Representative Jones credits Planned Parenthood for saving her life.  Without the pap smear she had there, she would have never known she had pre-cancerous cell growth on her cervix, which could have become cancer, which could have killed her. 

She also has some choice questions and opinions about the people who claim to care enough about black babies to enact billboards in low-income communities of color.

If you care about black babies, why do they make up 25 percent of the more than 10,000 children in the foster care system, according to the Missouri Department of Social Services?

If you care about black babies, why are urban school districts crumbling?

If you care about black babies, why is Missouri No. 1 in crimes committed against black men?

I was insulted, to say the least, when Missouri Right to Life had the gall to put up billboards in black neighborhoods with offensive and blatantly racist messages.

The wholly unsubstantiated claim made on these billboards is that black women kill their babies, perpetuating the racist stereotype of black women as unfit mothers.

Regardless of where one stands on the issue of abortion, I believe that the overwhelming number of Americans would agree that this type of reprehensible rhetoric crosses a line that should not be crossed and has no place in the debate.

Read the rest of her defense of family planning services and her take down of the racist hypocrisy of these billboard campaigns here.

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