HomeoldOhio Right To Life places pro-life billboards in African-American neighborhoods

Ohio Right To Life places pro-life billboards in African-American neighborhoods

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This month, Ohio Right To Life launched a new pro-life ad campaign in Cleveland’s low-income, majority black neighborhoods.

“African Americans experience a shockingly disproportionate number of abortions,” said Katherine McCann, public relations manager at Ohio Right to Life, in a press release. “We constantly hear about the racial disparities in infant mortality, gun violence and voting. Our goals with this campaign are to spread awareness about the racial crisis of abortion, and most importantly, to save lives in Cleveland, Ohio’s abortion capital.”

Although it’s an important issue, the ads don’t just focus on the high abortion rate among black women. My favorite ad is this one, which reminds men that fatherhood begins with two pink lines.

The billboard is positive, but emphatic in its message: a real man doesn’t just fork over $300 and encourage the woman carrying his baby to “take care of it.” Real men stand by and support pregnant women and children–including children in the womb.

As of 2012, 42 percent of abortions in Ohio were performed on black women–an extremely high number far out of proportion with their share of the general population. A young black woman, Lakisha Wilson, was killed earlier this year at a clinic in Cleveland, which Ohio Right To Life calls the “abortion capital” of Ohio.

“We want to see abortion end for every race,” said McCann. “By increasing awareness and encouraging a familial support system, we hope to engender a culture of life for mother, father, and child alike.”

Editor’s note. This appeared at liveactionnews.org.

Ohio Right to Life, a prominent pro-life organization, has launched a controversial campaign by placing pro-life billboards in predominantly African-American neighborhoods across Ohio. The campaign has sparked a heated debate about the motives, ethics, and impact of targeting specific communities with pro-life messages. While supporters see it as an effort to protect unborn lives and address what they view as a disproportionate impact of abortion on African-American communities, critics argue that it is a form of targeted messaging that may stigmatize and manipulate vulnerable populations.

Overview of the Billboard Campaign

The pro-life billboards, strategically placed in urban areas with high African-American populations, feature messages aimed at highlighting the high rates of abortion within the African-American community. The campaign’s slogans include statements such as “Black Lives Matter, Inside and Outside the Womb” and “Abortion is Not a Solution.”

Objectives of the Campaign

Ohio Right to Life has outlined several key objectives for this campaign:

  • Raising Awareness: To increase awareness about the rates of abortion among African-American women.
  • Promoting Alternatives: To encourage women to consider alternatives to abortion, such as adoption or parenting, and to seek support from pro-life organizations and crisis pregnancy centers.
  • Advocacy: To influence public opinion and policy by framing abortion as a pressing issue within the African-American community.

Reactions from Pro-Life Advocates

Pro-life advocates support the campaign, arguing that it addresses a critical issue and provides a voice for the unborn, particularly in communities they believe are disproportionately affected by abortion.

Addressing Disparities

Supporters highlight statistics indicating that African-American women have higher abortion rates compared to women of other racial groups. They argue that the campaign is a necessary step in addressing these disparities and providing support and resources to women in need.

Empowerment and Support

Pro-life advocates contend that the billboards empower women by informing them about their options and connecting them with resources that can help them carry their pregnancies to term. They see the campaign as an act of compassion aimed at supporting both women and their unborn children.

Criticism from Pro-Choice and Civil Rights Advocates

The billboard campaign has faced significant criticism from pro-choice organizations and civil rights advocates, who argue that it is a manipulative and stigmatizing tactic.

Targeting and Stigmatization

Critics argue that the campaign unfairly targets African-American communities, perpetuating stigma and shame around abortion. They contend that the billboards can contribute to feelings of guilt and isolation among women who have had or are considering abortions.

Racial and Ethical Concerns

Civil rights advocates express concern that the campaign exploits racial disparities to further a political agenda. They argue that it does not address the underlying social and economic factors that contribute to higher abortion rates in African-American communities, such as lack of access to healthcare, education, and economic opportunities.

Impact on Women’s Health

Pro-choice advocates emphasize that restricting access to safe and legal abortion does not reduce the need for abortions but rather pushes women towards unsafe methods. They argue that the focus should be on improving access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare and addressing the root causes of unintended pregnancies.

Broader Context and Implications

The Ohio Right to Life billboard campaign is part of a larger national debate over abortion, race, and reproductive justice. The controversy surrounding the campaign highlights the complex intersections of race, health, and ethics in the abortion debate.

Influence on Public Opinion and Policy

The campaign aims to influence public opinion by framing abortion as a critical issue within the African-American community. It seeks to sway policymakers to implement more restrictive abortion laws and increase funding for alternatives to abortion.

Future of Pro-Life Strategies

This targeted approach may signal a shift in pro-life strategies, focusing more on specific demographics to highlight perceived injustices and moral arguments. The effectiveness and ethical implications of such strategies will likely continue to be a subject of intense debate.


The Ohio Right to Life billboard campaign in African-American neighborhoods has sparked significant controversy, reflecting the deep and ongoing divisions over abortion in the United States. While supporters argue that it addresses important issues and provides necessary support, critics contend that it unfairly targets and stigmatizes African-American communities. As the debate continues, the campaign underscores the need for a nuanced and comprehensive approach to reproductive health and justice that considers the diverse experiences and challenges faced by different communities.


Daniel Miller is responsible for nearly all of National Right to Life News' political writing.

With the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, Daniel Miller developed a deep obsession with U.S. politics that has never let go of the political scientist. Whether it's the election of Joe Biden, the midterm elections in Congress, the abortion rights debate in the Supreme Court or the mudslinging in the primaries - Daniel Miller is happy to stay up late for you.

Daniel was born and raised in New York. After living in China, working for a news agency and another stint at a major news network, he now lives in Arizona with his two daughters.

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