Since 2010, the U.S. enacted 338 laws restricting abortion, accounting for 30% of the total 1,142 restrictions codified since Roe V. Wade passed in 1973. Ohio, which only had 16 clinics to begin with, has shut down half of its abortion centers since 2011. Restrictive rulings around term-limits, laws including those increasing the wait-time between initial visits and procedures, and stigma in the form of pro-life protest groups who camp outside clinic doors further diminish access.
But some Ohioans aren’t giving up without a fight. Ohio's largest nonprofit abortion clinic, Preterm, launched a sweeping billboard campaign, called “My Abortion My Life,” on January 2nd, reports the Daily Dot. According to Preterm's website, “My Abortion, My Life works toward a world without stigma. Our aim is simple. Abortion is a common experience women undergo for many valid personal reasons. If even a fraction of the 50 million American women who have had abortions spoke about the experience, the cycle of silence, shame, and stigma would be broken.”
The 16 different ads featured across the Cleveland area on freeways and busstops each start with the phrase, “Abortion is…” to impart positive narratives about abortion.
“Abortion is a parenting decision.”
“Abortion is a second chance.”
“Abortion is life-saving.”
“Abortion is right for me.”
The campaign arose following a law passed by Republican Gov. John Kasich on December 22nd that will make abortion illegal if based on a Down Syndrome diagnosis. The billboards challenge damaging misconceptions about abortion: that it is selfish, amoral, unjustified, or downright wrong. Most importantly, the initiative sparks solidarity amongst folks with uteruses.
If you live in Ohio, or just want to visit these beauties, Preterm has created a handy map of their locations.
Top photo via Twitter/@pretermMAML
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Cricket Epstein is BUST's editorial intern. She writes about feminism, films, witches, and all things awesome (and terrible). She is currently working on a health and wellness website and podcast, to be launched in the near future. You can follow her on instagram @t0tally_buggin and at her poorly maintained doodlegram @poorly_drawn_puns.