Who would have believed that a picture of an adorable child used on a billboard in New York City would cause such upheaval?
Life Always, a group of pro-life leaders based out of Texas, joined the fight to alert New Yorkers about the startling rate of abortions among African-American women in that city. So they found a picture of a little girl in a pink dress and added a statement of truth about the safety of African American children. That’s right – they put up a billboard to let people know the truth. Six out of every 10 African-American babies in New York City never see the light of day. The billboard also directed people to a website with some additional information and a way to find help if you are pregnant.
And within the blink of an eye, concerns about disruptive protests and harsh words directed at workers in the restaurant located under the billboard have led the advertising company to take down the truth-telling advertisement.
Some City council members were outraged by the billboard and are claiming victory with the billboard’s removal, according to a blog post at The New York Times.
The pro-life leaders involved in the fight for Life in New York City (and across the country) are disappointed by this outcome:
- It a statement regarding the decision of the advertising company to remove the billboard, LifeAlways said: it
“strongly disagrees with Lamar Outdoor’s decision to remove the billboard in SoHo, but the billboard’s message holds true, and truth has a place in the public square. The intent of the board is to call attention to the tragedy and the truth that abortion is outpacing life in the black community.”
- Rev. Michel Faulkner of the New Horizon Church in Harlem (as cited in the New York Times blog referenced above) added:
“While this billboard causes a visceral reaction from many African-Americans, it addresses a stubborn truth that 60 percent of black babies do not make it out of the womb. We must do something now. Instead of challenging the design of the ad, we should ask why the message is true and how can we change the fact that the leading cause of death for African-Americans is abortion.”
However, the ruckus surrounding the billboard & its removal have made national headlines, including coverage on CNN. Though the billboard may not have the long-lasting effect that its sponsors intended, the truth is still out there in the national debate.
There is one lesson that all of us in the pro-life movement must remember. The truth isn’t always popular. And most of the time, when you speak the truth and your opponents confront you with full force – it’s a sign that you are doing a good job. Let us never be intimidated in our quest to speak the truth.
The truth saves lives.