“Every 21 minutes, our next possible leader is aborted.” This is the theme of a controversial anti-abortion billboard campaign that went up in the South Side of Chicago today. The posters feature an image of President Obama, and many are complaining that it's disrespectful and, well, just wrong.
The billboards are the work of a Texas-based pro-life group called Life Always, an organization that critics say targets Blacks and Black neighborhoods with its anti-abortion campaigns. It is the same group that placed a billboard ad in New York featuring the face of a young Black girl that read, “The most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb.” That billboard was taken down because employees working in the building it was posted on were being harassed.
At a Tuesday morning press conference to unveil the campaign, the group justified the use of Obama’s image. “Our future leaders are being aborted at an alarming rate. These are babies who could grow to be the future president of the United States, or the next Oprah Winfrey, Denzel Washington or Maya Angelou,” said Life Always board member Rev. Derek McCoy.
Planned Parenthood Illinois said Tuesday that the billboards are “an offensive and condescending effort to stigmatize and shame African-American women while attempting to limit their ability to make private, personal medical decisions.”
Gaylon Alcaraz, the executive director of Chicago Abortion Fund, a pro-choice organization, finds the posters offensive and says they fail to address the social issues that force poor women to choose abortion in the first place. Only three of approximately 30 planned billboards have gone up so far.
CAF and other pro-choice organizations are reaching out to elected officials, urging them to denounce the campaign.
(Image courtesy of Life Always)
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