Battle of the Billboards – Pro-Life and Pro-Choice Groups Prepare their Messages for the RNC

As the city of Cleveland braces itself for the upcoming storm that is the Republican National Convention, various protesting and lobbying groups are also preparing ways to have their voices heard by the thousands who are planning to attend.

One in particular is Created Equal, a pro-life group based in Columbus that is known for publicizing graphic images of abortion procedures. They plan to fly a 50-by-100-foot banner above the convention in an effort to pressure congressional Republicans into defunding Planned Parenthood, according to an article published on The Stream, a Christian news website that describes the group as a national daily championing freedom, smaller government and human dignity.

Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee, has often been unclear with his stance on abortion’s legality and Planned Parenthood's actions.

Mark Harrington, the national director of Created Equal, emphasized that "the platform serves as a mission statement for the RNC and sets the standard for the party."

According to Jezebel, the anti-abortion group has previously attempted to 
showcase their message by looping graphic videos for hours on a San Antonio Jumbotron before they were shut down by the city.

In an apparent effort to avoid being shut down in this fashion once again, the 
group says that it will use aerial advertising to fly an image of a 15-week-old aborted baby over the RNC July 13 to July 21, as well as one during the Democratic convention the following week.

However, this signage does not stand uncontested. Already popping up downtown are a series of billboards taking the opposing stance. 

Appears on the corner of Carnegie Ave. and East 21st. St.

The billboards state they are paid for by the National Institute for Reproductive Health, an organization that works nationally to increase access to reproductive health care and normalizing women's decisions to have abortions and use contraception.

Their website states that these billboards have been put up "in an attempt to educate the public about the RNC platform's implications for women who have abortions."

Carnegie Ave. between East 36th and 40th St.

There are six different billboards that will appear throughout Cleveland for the length of the RNC in defiance of the "anti-choice legislators [who] have passed more than 1,000 laws that shame, pressure, punish - even criminalize - women who have decided to have an abortion," according to the Institutes's website regarding the campaign.

Each character on the billboards — doctors providing abortions, women who have had an abortion, or someone who takes the abortion pill — asks the RNC: "How much time will I serve?" if the GOP successfully votes to make abortion illegal.

With the Republican convention quickly approaching, we are likely to see more clashing stances as we move into the next tumultuous two weeks.

About The Author

Phoebe Potiker

Phoebe Potiker is a college freshman at Ohio State University studying both Journalism and Public Affairs. Phoebe is currently a blogging intern at Cleveland Scene, covering local news stories. A graduate of Shaker Heights High School, Phoebe has resided in the East Side suburb her entire life and has been raised...
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