The anti-abortion group Life Always got into some hot water last month when they ran a certain billboard in New York City’s SoHo area near a Planned Parenthood clinic. Several complaints were filed about the image of a young black girl paired with the statement that “The most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb.” Brooklyn councilperson Letitia James spoke against the wisdom of running the billboard at all, but especially during Black History Month. Reverend Al Sharpton began organizing a march in protest, the mother of the girl in the billboard objected to her daughter’s image being tied to a negative message about African Americans, and the advertising company who owned the space pulled it down (but, not because of the content–staff in a nearby restaurant complained of being harassed by people objecting to the billboard).
Now, Life Always is following up with a billboard on Chicago’s South Side picturing President Obama with the text, “Every 21 minutes, our next possible leader is aborted.” Regardless of one’s position on either abortion or the president, the message is surely loaded, and deserves a closer look. More than anything, we’d like to hear from you, our LAMPpost readers, with your thoughts on this piece of media.I myself am particularly interested in the placement of the billboard. As with any media, in thinking critically about this billboard, geography must be considered. Obama’s home in Hyde Park is not exactly next door, but it is relatively nearby, and as with the previous billboard being placed near a Planned Parenthood clinic, location is clearly something Life Always takes into account when siting their messages. Plus, even the most embattled president can count on his hometown for loyalty; at the very least, few of his neighbors would view the billboard with indifference. But, what do you think was the intention of Life Always in bringing Chicago, Obama and abortion together in one billboard?