Anti-Abortion Group Features President Obama on Chicago Billboards


Winer said he doesn't believe the billboard message is a persuasive appeal that will cause women to change their opinions about abortion. The billboards are obviously meant for a targeted audience to draw controversy, he said, which is what the group clearly hoped to gain.

He called the billboard campaign an exercise in "raw attention creation."

Cherisse Scott, the Chicago heath educator with Black Women for Reproductive Justice, said, "I'm outraged, appalled, and the wind is knocked out of me."

"Finally, the Black community has a leader and for a black child to see him being linked to a campaign that basically says President Obama is an endangered species is a problem for me," said Scott, who attended Life Always' billboard unveiling Tuesday.

Scott said "no picture would have been as impactful" for Chicago residents as Obama's.

Life Always' McCoy echoed the sentiment, saying the group used the president's image because he's a "major leader in the African-American community, America and the world."

"Using Obama in Chicago is drawing attention, and that's what it's designed to do," he said.

Group Uses President Obama Picture on Anti-Abortion Billboards

Professor Winer agreed that the controversy is clearly a driving factor behind the Life Always billboards, but said that using the president to push a position is a flawed approach that always limits any discussion.

"It's not wise to use a presidential image because half the population doesn't support him," he said. "It's rare to see an advertising campaign that "links a product to a president.

"If you have to stop to think about what's going on, the message is diluted."

Winer said he thinks people will be focused less on abortion then on asking, "Why Obama?"

"In my opinion, it doesn't accomplish their goal as directly or as effectively as the other billboard," Winer said, referring to the last month's ad in New York.

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