A controversial billboard campaign calling abortion "sacred," "a blessing," "family value," "life-saving," and "a second chance," among other things, was launched this week by the largest abortion clinic in Ohio.
The 16 billboards put up across the Greater Cleveland area all start with the phrase "Abortion is _____" and are completed with a variety of words in support of the practice.
"We want to push people to think about abortion in new, diverse ways with these billboards," explained Nancy Starner, Preterm's director of development and communications.
"We want the people in our community who have had abortions to know that they're not alone."
The clinic further argues as part of its latest campaign that abortion is "normal and necessary," "good medicine," "safer than childbirth" and "right for me."
"To a physician, abortion may be a medical procedure that takes less than 10 minutes to perform. 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," it states.
Blasting the billboards, evangelist Franklin Graham said all of the statements made in Preterm's ad campaign are "lies."
"God says, 'Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.' That's exactly what an abortion business in Ohio is doing," Graham argued. "Here's a billboard for them—'Abortion is evil, because it's murder.' Pray that America will wake up to the tragedy of children being killed through abortion every day in this nation."
Lila Rose, founder and president of Live Action, also denounced the billboards, calling them "sick and wrong."
"An abortion business is trying to normalize the killing of preborn children with billboards that call abortion 'sacred,' life-saving,' and 'a blessing.' Here's an accurate slogan: 'Abortion is the killing of a human life,'" she tweeted.
The billboard campaign comes just months after Planned Parenthood Black Community sparked outrage over its suggestion that for black women in America, "it's statistically safer to have an abortion than to carry a pregnancy to term or give birth."
"Disgusting," wrote Antonia Okafor, political commentator and CEO and co-founder of the #emPOWERed movement. "To encourage ppl like me to end our future children's lives instead of empowering us to grow healthy human beings. Vile."
Americans remain divided on abortion. Some of the latest national survey data provided by Pew found that in 2017, some 57 percent of American adults believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 40 percent said that it should be illegal in all or in most cases.
Last year saw some significant pro-life victories, with activist group Operation Rescue reporting in December that 49 abortion clinics were closed in 2017, which is more than twice the number of clinics that were opened.
Operation Rescue argued that a major factor for these clinic closures is "a decreased demand for abortions."
"There appears to be a correlation between clinics closing and a decrease in abortion numbers. According to the CDC, abortion numbers have been dropping steadily since 2005," the group said.
"Some facilities have not been able to compete in an ever-shrinking abortion market and have been forced to downside or shut down. At the same time, when abortion facilities close, abortion numbers decrease even more."