According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, black women account for about 36 percent of the country's reported abortions, even though blacks are less than 13 percent of the population.
Experts say it's because black women have higher rates of unintended pregnancies, and often that's a result of not having access to quality health care as well as the most effective contraception and sex education.
Gaylon Alcaraz, the executive director of the Chicago Abortion Fund, said the statistics tell only part of the story.
"The abortion rate doesn't talk about the high rate of sexual violence, such as rape and molestation, in poor black communities," Alcaraz said. "It doesn't tell you about the woman whose birth control failed or the college student who wants to finish school.
"Then there's the woman who sneaks out to get an abortion so she doesn't have to bring another baby into a house where the husband is beating her."
Cherisse Scott, health educator for the Chicago-based Black Women for Reproductive Justice, said the rate also doesn't address the overall racial disparities in health care and health outcomes.
"We know that black women are more likely to suffer or die from diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer and HIV/AIDS," Scott said. "Life Always (the Texas-based group responsible for the ads) would like you to believe that the high abortion rate is not complicated and merely the result of aggressive marketing from abortion providers. But that's just untrue.
"They believe black women have been bamboozled by Planned Parenthood, as if (the organization is) standing on every street corner in every black neighborhood promoting abortion."
On March 29, Life Always unveiled three of its anti-abortion billboards in a vacant lot in the Englewood neighborhood. Since then, at least four other billboards have been placed on the South Side.
All are identical, showing the likeness of President Barack Obama and the words: "Every 21 minutes, our next possible leader is aborted."
The Rev. Stephen Broden, of Life Always, said the group uses the statistics to show the impact that abortion providers, particularly Planned Parenthood, have on the black community.
"They've convinced our women that the answer to social injustice is to kill their babies and the answer to unintended pregnancies is to kill their babies," said Broden, who is black. "There are alternatives throughout the entire scenario."
According to the Guttmacher Institute, a private, nonprofit reproductive-health research organization in New York, the abortion rate among all women has been declining over the last decade, even though abortion rates remain higher among black women.
Rebecca Wind, spokeswoman for Guttmacher, said that one persistent reason for unintended pregnancies is that many women of color, who are also disproportionately low-income, are less likely to use the most effective methods of contraception. Such methods include the birth control pill, the patch, the vaginal ring and intrauterine devices.
"What's left out of the discussion is that black women are more likely to experience unintended pregnancies and therefore more likely to seek and obtain abortions than any other group," Wind said.
She said that because black women also are underinsured, they may be more vulnerable, since the most effective methods are often the most expensive.
But Scott said the problem goes even deeper. Many of the women and girls she encounters don't have a good understanding of their basic reproductive and sexual health. She said many don't even know how to chart their menstrual cycles.