AUSTIN (KXAN) - The smiling face of an African American boy is displayed high above traffic on Interstate 35. Drivers heading south can see the billboard near Eighth Street.
The sign reads, "The most dangerous place for some children is in the womb," and directs drivers to check out more information on a website .
It is part of a nationwide anti-abortion media campaign put together by the Austin-based pro-life nonprofit organization, Heroic Media . Television commercials have been running, too, that reach out to black women and blast Planned Parenthood , which offers abortions.
"The overwhelming majority of abortion facilities are in minority neighborhoods. We think they need to know that," said Kim Speirs, Heroic Media's director of communications.
That piece of information is typed on another website along with the controversial message that was banned from billboards in a number of U.S. cities. The sign had a silhouette of a pregnant woman next to the words, "The most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb."
On the site, Heroic Media claims Planned Parenthood's founder wanted to "stop the reproduction of the unfit" and said an African American baby is three times more likely to be aborted than the rest of the population.
"We don't tell anybody what to do," said Speirs. "We believe that once a woman learns positive, hopeful compassionate alternatives she'll choose life. It's really that simple."
Planned Parenthood issued the following statement in response to the campaign Wednesday:
"Planned Parenthood's mission is to provide preventive, affordable health care to everyone in the community regardless of their race, ethnicity, sex, religion, sexual orientation, or ability to pay. Planned Parenthood health centers provide health care and education to three million women and men in the U.S. every year--including 33,000 men and women in Austin. Last year, Planned Parenthood in Austin provided 5,944 breast cancer screenings, 5,557 cervical cancer screenings, 16,577 tests and treatment for sexually transmitted infections; 6,578 HIV tests; and birth control for more than 26,000 Central Texans. This expensive billboard campaign generates media attention but unfortunately does nothing to provide critically needed health care and education in the Austin community."
Planned Parenthood did not release the number of abortions they performed in Austin last year.
According to the Department of State Health Services , a total of 3,694 abortions were performed in Travis County in 2008.
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