‘Abortion Is Self-Care’ Billboard Will Remain Erect After Organization Leader Speaks Out: ‘We Said It. We Meant It’

Grace Carr | Reporter

A women’s reproductive rights group put up a billboard in Dallas, Texas, claiming that abortion is self-care, and it’s not backing down despite receiving backlash.

The Afiya Center (TAC) posted a picture on Facebook of a billboard in Dallas that reads, “Abortion Is Self-Care.” The image of the billboard enraged some while others expressed gratitude for it.

“I knew we were going to get reactions from Black [sic] women that were really strong, but I thought they would want to know what we mean. I really didn’t expect such a visercal [sic] backlash,” Afiya Center executive director Marsha Jones told ESSENCE.

TAC is a “Reproductive Justice (RJ) organization in North Texas founded and directed by Black women,” according to its website. Its mission is to “serve Black women and girls by transforming their relationship with their sexual and reproductive health through addressing the consequences of reproduction oppression.”

Jones’s response comes largely in reaction to another billboard — erected by Pastor Stephen Broden and the Black Pro-Life Coalition — reading, “ABORTION is not healthcare … It HURTS women and MURDERS their BABIES.”

“I was enraged when I saw that,” Jones told ESSENCE. “You can’t put up a billboard that doesn’t have factual information. You are attaching shame and blame to Black women’s choices.”

“A woman’s body cannot, should not be legislated, and hypocritical attempts to do just that are acts of ideological and political warfare,” she continued.

Black Americans make up roughly 13 percent of the U.S. population, but accounted for about 36 percent of the country’s abortions in 2014, according a July Wall Street Journal report. Roughly 360,000 of Planned Parenthood’s 2.4 million patients are black individuals, according to Planned Parenthood.

“We will not take the billboard down,” Jones said. “We said it. We meant it.”

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