‘Abortion is Self-Care’ Billboard Targeting Black Women Sparks Outrage

Yesha Callahan Sep, 05, 2018

The Afiya Center, an advocacy group which focuses on black women’s reproductive rights and health based in Dallas, Texas, is responding to the outrage received they’ve received in regards to a billboard advocating for a woman’s right to choose when it comes to abortion. The billboard shows three black women and the tagline, “Black women take care of their families by taking care of themselves,” and also states “Abortion is self-care.”

The organization’s Facebook page clearly states its purpose, which is  “advocating for Black women’s comprehensive health includes ensuring access to all reproductive healthcare, including abortion care,” but that didn’t stop people  on social media from putting the billboard on blast, and accusing the organization of participating in eugenics.

The Afiya Center’s Facebook page was also bombarded with people questioning their motives and wondering why they’re pushing an abortion “agenda” onto black women.

“How is abortion self-care??? Its SELFISH and SELF-PRESERVATION. Self-care is PREVENTION before the pregnancy not INTERVENTION afterward. Smh,” one commenter stated.

In response to the backlash, the Afiya Center stood their ground and issued a statement of their own on Facebook: 

“The Afiya Center has ALWAYS supported women having access to the FULL SPECTRUM OF REPRODUCTIVE HEALTHCARE SERVICES. Period. This billboard is just a physical representation of language we’ve been using this whole time. We believe the ONLY people who can make decisions about women’s bodies are the women themselves. We are for complete autonomy. COMPLETE AUTONOMY. 100%, with no caveats. If the word abortion feels like a dog whistle, sit back and ask yourself who programmed you to react that way.”

Since going viral, people have left quite a number of negative reviews and comments on the organization’s Facebook and Google Places pages, which have brought the organization’s ratings on both sites down.

Essence has reached out to the Afiya Center for further comments.