Controversial Anti-Abortion Billboard Taken Down

Dallas pastor's New York billboard receives hundreds of complaints

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    NEWSLETTERS

    An anti-abortion billboard by a Dallas pastor was taken down after a little more than one day because it sparked so much outrage in New York City.

    The three-story advertisement depicted 6-year-old black girl and said, "The most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb."

    Anti-Abortion Billboard Controversy

    [DFW] Anti-Abortion Billboard Controversy
    A North Texas pastor is behind a controversial anti-abortion billboard that sparked outrage among New York residents and was taken down after less than two days. (Published Thursday, Feb 24, 2011)

    "That message is tied to the fact that the abortion rate in the African-American community is through the roof," said the Rev. Stephen Broden.

    The billboard sparked nationwide outage, and Lamar Advertising Co. took the billboard down Thursday after hundreds of complaints were filed. The company told the New York Times that employees at a restaurant below the billboard were harassed because of the ad.

    "This whole campaign, it scared me," said Marcia Jones, executive director of the Afiya Center for HIV Prevention and Sexual Reproductive Justice. "It made me think we are going back 30, 40 years, where women are going to the back door, in the alleys, having abortions and the other unnecessary things that shouldn't have to happen."

    Broden, senior pastor of Fair Park Bible Fellowship and a founding member of the Texas-based anti-abortion group Life Always that is behind the controversial campaign, said he did not have any apologies about the billboard.

    Broden said the "abortion industry" has a genocidal plot to kill blacks.

    "I think abortion has gone too far, and it's decimating our numbers, and it's going to take a kind of jolt for us to realize the extend which it's impacting us and is essentially depopulating our numbers," he said.

    Planned Parenthood said in written statement that the billboard was "an offensive and condescending effort to stigmatize and shame African-American women while attempting to discredit the work of Planned Parenthood."

    The billboard was located a half-mile from a Planned Parenthood center in SoHo, the New York Times reported. Broden said in a news conference that Life Always located the billboard in a largely "white community" so it could garner attention, the newspaper reported.

    The campaign launched in New York City, but Life Always plans to release more billboards nationwide.

    "Our intent is to go to urban centers around the country where we know the statistics are consistent with our research and to cause conversation," Broden said.