By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 11:14 AM on 25th February 2011
A day after a controversial anti-abortion billboard went up in New York City it’s already being taken down following a public outcry.
Outdoor advertising company Lamar Advertising said late Thursday that it will take down the billboard erected in Manhattan’s SoHo district, which shows a young black girl and reads: ‘The most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb.’
A black New York City Council member previously called the billboard, unveiled to coincide with Black History Month, ‘highly offensive’.
Reverend Al Sharpton praised the decision to remove the ad and cancelled his plans to protest it.
‘The billboard was offensive, especially during Black History Month,’ Sharpton said Thursday.
The campaign is by a group called Life Always and one board member, the Reverend Stephen Broden, who is also black, likens abortion to ‘a genocidal plot’.
‘During Black History Month, we celebrate our history, but our future is in jeopardy as a genocidal plot is carried out through abortion,’ he said.
Brooklyn councillor Letitia James, of the Working Families Party, said the timing was misguided and told the New York Daily News that comparing abortion to genocide ‘is highly offensive’.
In a statement she said: ‘It is misguided to use Black History Month as a tool to promote this message.
‘Every woman has the right to make personal choices in regards to her body, and I respect many different points of view, but to compare abortion to terrorism and genocide is highly offensive.’
The Life Always group says its message counters what it calls Planned Parenthood’s ‘targeting of minority neighbourhoods’.
Planned Parenthood – which offers reproductive health care, sex education, and information - has in turn called it an ‘offensive and condescending effort to stigmatise and shame African-American woman [and] a divisive message around race to restrict access to medical care’.
‘Our message is one that’s provocative,’ Reverend Broden responded via the New York Daily News. ‘It’s true and it’s accurate and it’s real.’
The billboard was erected on the corner of Watts Street and Sixth Avenue, just half a mile from a Planned Parenthood centre, and was set to stay there for six weeks.
Planned Parenthood says only 3 per cent of its work is to do with abortions – and over 80 per cent are aimed at preventing unintended pregnancies.
Life Always is basing their provocative poster on figures from the New York Health Department, according to the Huffington Post. It says that Blacks had the largest number of terminations in 2009, with 40,798 – those of Hispanic origin had the second highest, with 28,364.
New York’s abortion rate was almost 40 per cent that year, and the three Planned Parenthood facilities nearest the billboard poster reported almost 17,000 abortions in 2010.
Statistics show that blacks make up about 13 per cent of the American population, and account for 36.4 per cent of terminations in America, the Daily Post reports.