Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 4:56 p.m.
Where's the most dangerous place for a Latino/a to be?
Well, according to a throng of recently-unveiled billboards in Los Angeles, it's inside their mom's womb.
Gabriela Valle, senior director of California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, says the billboards, which started showing up a few days ago, are the result of some "anti-choice folks on the right." One of the bigger billboards is located on the corner of Figueroa Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, she says.
The billboards read: "The most dangerous place for a Latino is in the womb."( Valle says she thinks it's interesting that the billboard uses only the male "Latino," when Spanish uses either an 'a' or an 'o' to differentiate gender.)
"This is the second rolling out of the same message. We're taking a strong stance against theses ads. They're completely racist. An attack to one community is an attack to all."
To Valle, the billboards are a "very politically driven" attempt to "cause a wedge in Latino communities."
At the bottom of the billboards is a website: unidosporlavida.org.mx.
The group, which lists an office in Mexico City on its website, didn't respond to an email interview request.
"This organization is out of Mexico. That's another layer that's touchy," Valle says. "The fact that they're hiding behind a Latino-led organization doesn't make the message any less racist."
A translated statement from their website reads: "22 percent of all abortions in the United States each year happen among Latina women, and it's 2.7 times more likely that they will have an abortion than a white, non-Hispanic woman, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control."
Valle takes aim at the attacks on an already "attacked" group. "They're anti-woman. They're anti-immigrant. This ad is just one more place for Latino communities to be attacked." She says her organization, and other like-minded groups, are asking whoever thought up the idea, and the billboard companies themselves, to take them down.