UPDATE: The general manager of Lamar Advertising New York told The New York times the pro-life billboard was removed because of threats. Peter Costanza told the newspaper that someone came into the restaurant housed in the building where the billboard was posted and began harassing the staff. Costanza said he didn’t want any violence so he took down the banner — as a safety measure. Read their report here.
New Yorkers don’t have any problem with giant billboards featuring half-naked women or men wearing Speedos. But a billboard with a pro-life message has drawn so much outrage, the advertising company that erected it — is taking it down.
The ad showed a black girl along with the tagline: “The most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb.”
The billboard especially concerned Tricia Fraser. It was her six-year-old daughter in the ad — and she said that no one asked her permission.
“I would never endorse something like that,” Fraser told WNYW. “Especially with my child’s image.”
She had taken her daughter to a modeling agency and the photos were apparently used from stock images.
The pro-life group, Life Always, said the billboard’s message is directed at Planned Parenthood and was part of a national campaign tied to Black History Month. The group accused Planned Parenthood of targeting minority neighborhoods.
Planned Parenthood disputed that notion and called the advertisement, a “condescending effort to stigmatize and shame African-American women.”
However, a number of black pastors supported the billboard and said something must be done to stop abortions in the African-American community.
“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,” Rev. Michel Faulkner told WNYW-TV. “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,” he said.
The Rev. Al Sharpton had been among those outraged at the message — and had planned to protest the billboard. However, Lamar Advertising removed the ad.
Listen to this report from Fox News Radio’s Todd Starnes: