Preterm, the largest abortion clinic in the state of Ohio, launched an abortion billboard campaign Wednesday just weeks after Gov. John Kasich (R) signed a law banning abortion on the basis of a diagnosis of Down syndrome.
The campaign will sponsor 16 billboards throughout the Cleveland area featuring positive fill in the blank messages about what abortion is with a different term in each one. Some of the billboards call abortion a “family value,” a “parenting decision,” and “life-saving.” Others term the procedure “gender equality,” something that is “necessary” and even “sacred.”
"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. "We want the people in our community who have had abortions to know that they're not alone."
Preterm says their campaign aims to show that every person’s abortion experience is “valid.”
“To a physician, abortion may be a medical procedure that takes less than 10 minutes to perform,” they write. “To a parent struggling to make ends meet, abortion may be the best way to love and care for your family. To a young person, abortion may be the chance to graduate. To all of us, abortion is foundational to a just society where we can live life on our own terms.”
Their campaign does not feature any stories of women who regret their abortions or who would use any remotely negative term to describe the procedure so perhaps those abortion experiences are less “valid” in the abortion provider’s estimation.
The billboards follow Gov. Kasich's signing of a law, which takes effect in March, that makes performing abortions solely on the basis of Down Syndrome a fourth-degree felony. Ohio is now the third state to pass such a law.
Preterm fundraised off the new law just after its passage calling it an abortion ban that was “pushing politics into the personal decisions of our patients.”
Unborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted at high rates globally. According to a CBS report, the United States has an estimated abortion rate of 67 percent (1995-2011) for unborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome. Iceland has a nearly 100 percent termination rate following diagnosis.
The high numbers even caused one human rights group to appeal to the United Nations, calling the abortion rates a “contemporary form of eugenics and racism.”