News & Politics

Cleveland Billboards: 'Abortion Is: Good Medicine, Gender Equality, Life-Saving, Sacred'

Facebook screenshot of a local's picture of an abortion billboard in Cleveland, Ohio.

In the new year, the abortion clinic Preterm launched a billboard campaign to reduce the “stigma” around abortion — and it seems to have specifically targeted black neighborhoods.

Preterm reserved sixteen billboards, each with the phrase, “Abortion is _____.” Each billboard attempts to associate the killing of a baby inside the womb with a positive word or phrase.

Some attempt to tie abortion with health. These signs declare abortion is “health care,” “normal,” “necessary,” “good medicine,” and even “life-saving.” Perhaps the individual human being who loses his or her life in the procedure might beg to differ. Women who have struggled with guilt and even some long-term health problems from the procedure might also take a different view. Rapper Eminem even recently released a song apologizing to his aborted child.

Other terms associate abortion with practicality. Billboards describe abortion as “right for me,” “safer than childbirth,” “a second chance,” and “your right.” Again, these utterly divorce the truth of the act — that it kills a unique individual with DNA separate from the mother’s — from the public image.

Finally, another set of terms associates abortion with a higher plane of morality or existence. Billboards describe abortion as “hope,” “a parenting decision,” “gender equality,” “liberty,” “a family value,” “a blessing,” and even “sacred.”

This is not your parents’ abortion movement. The days of “safe, legal, and rare” might as well be ancient history for this campaign. According to Preterm, abortion is healthy, practical, liberating, and even noble.

Preterm is essentially establishing a religion of abortion, with the intentional killing of an unborn child the “sacred” act of “blessing” which brings “hope” and “liberty.” This demonic sacrament of blood and death echoes the ancient worship of the pagan god Moloch, to whom women would sacrifice their firstborn children.

Preterm’s message is arguably Orwellian. The very act of destroying what could be a family is termed a “family value.” The act of ending a life is hailed as “life-saving.” The decision not to become a parent — by killing your own offspring — is called a “parenting decision.”

Perhaps the most disgusting part of this inversion, however, is the utter shamelessness of how Preterm engages in racial targeting. The abortion organization does not even hide the fact it wants to help abort black babies.

“As an organization that has served women and families of all means and identities for decades, we know how race, discrimination, and poverty shape the reproductive lives of our patients. Because of racial injustice, women of color are both more likely to need abortions, and less likely to be able to afford them,” the abortion clinic explained in a “racial justice” post on its website.

Indeed, as RedState’s Jennifer Van Laar reported, locals have noted that the billboards went up in black neighborhoods.

“They are outright targeting black people and trying to put a happy face on abortion. I am appalled by this,” local radio host Darvio Morrow declared.

map of abortion billboards across Cleveland, Ohio, via Google

Google screenshot of a map of pro-abortion billboards posted across Cleveland by Preterm abortion clinic.

A local who snapped two photos of the billboards lamented the racial targeting on Facebook. “If you live in the hood, companies profit off negative stereotypes and bad choices, race, poverty/low income & poor education that’s why you do NOT see this is Moreland Hills, Beechwood, Solon or other well-to-do areas,” wrote black Clevelander Vita Shields.

“In the innercity, the liquor ads/stores, unhealthy food options & stereotypes about your body, choices, HIV, etc abound,” she added. “Sometimes I hate the area I live in but I despise the agenda behind what’s advertised here even more.”

If you live in the hood, companies profit off negative stereotypes and bad choices, race, poverty/low income & poor…

Posted by Vita Shields on Saturday, January 6, 2018

Local doula Nakia Smith also called out the Preterm campaign. “Have you seen or are you aware of the Preterm, campaign posted in and TARGETING our highly affected infant mortality neighborhoods, seemingly strategic?” she asked in a powerful Instagram post.

Identifying herself as a native American — another racial minority — Smith suggested minority communities should demand the removal of these billboards. “We must collectively reach out to the Administration of Preterm to discuss/demand REMOVING these billboards from OUR neighborhoods expeditiously! As a Birth Professional, Mother, Indigenous woman who resides within Cleveland and works tirelessly to decrease our infant mortality rate I am appalled, insulted, and outraged,” she declared.

Smith ended the post with gusto, decrying the “institutional and systemic racism” of abortion clinics targeting minority babies.

We all understand everyone may have options, but for these massive billboards to be placed strategically in our neighborhoods (116th and Kinsman, Stokes Blvd, 55th and Carneige) shows the historical, institutional, and systemic racism that is silent, ever present and BOLD! Take action! This will not and can not continue to happen on our watch!

The Cleveland City Council has already reached out to Preterm about the billboards.

Tragically, a black 22-year-old woman, Lakisha Wilson, lost her life at Preterm in 2014, due to complications from abortion. Pro-life activists have noted that the Preterm abortion clinic did not have a large enough elevator for the stretcher, preventing the paramedics from moving Wilson to a safe operating room.

It is truly tragic and deeply ironic that Preterm targets black women in the name of “racial justice” while killing their babies, all after a black woman died after the procedure — at their very clinic.

Abortion proved the opposite of “life-saving” to Wilson, costing her not only the life of her unborn baby, but her own as well. Is such a nasty procedure to be considered a “family value,” “good medicine,” “sacred,” and “a blessing”? For Lakisha Wilson, it was anything but a “second chance.”

In announcing the campaign, Preterm encouraged supporters to share images of the billboards using the hashtags #AllOfTheAbove and #MyAbortionMyLife.

“We want to push people to think about abortion in new, diverse ways with these billboards,” Nancy Starner, Preterm’s director of development and communications, said in a news release.

Twitter user Christina Dunigan took the campaign in a “new and diverse” way, tweeting a damning response: an image of Wilson with the caption, “Abortion is … what killed Lakisha Wilson at Preterm.”