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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Abortion rights group covers billboards


    Controversial billboards in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood that target the disproportionately high rate of abortion in the black community have been covered by opponents less than a week after they went up.

    Two of the three identical ads — which feature an image of President Barack Obama and the words “”Every 21 minutes our next possible leader is aborted”” — were covered with fabric banners with messages scrawled in red paint.

    One banner says: “”In 21 minutes this sign should be gone.”” A second banner, which dangled from the billboard Sunday after being blown by the wind, says, “”Abort Racism.””

    A group described as “”social workers and community members,”” who did not want their names used, claimed responsibility for the act in a statement emailed to the Tribune. The group said the ads were disrespectful and did not represent the views of the community and that “”it wanted to replace the negative, condemning message with a positive one.””

    The Rev. Stephen Broden, whose Dallas-based organization Life Always has funded what will eventually be 30 billboard ads of this kind in Chicago, has said they are needed to draw attention to the high rate of abortion among African-American women.

    Broden, who has the support of Chicago’s Rev. Isaac Hayes, a conservative Republican who last year lost his bid to unseat U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., and Cedra Crenshaw, a Republican who ran for state Senate, has accused Planned Parenthood of participating in a modern-day eugenics movement.

    Planned Parenthood, the city’s Black Women for Reproductive Justice and other abortion rights advocates say the ads stigmatize African-American women and restrict their ability to make personal medical decisions.

    Critics also say the ads exploit the image of Obama, who supports abortion rights but has voiced concern over the high abortion rate for blacks.

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