Chicago’s Anti-Abortion Obama Billboard Is Illegal

The billboards in Chicago that featured a likeness of President Barack Obama as well as the phrase “Every 21 minutes our next possible leader is aborted” was panned as needlessly offensive by both activists and city residents alike.

Now, it appears that the billboards are illegal as well.

On March 29, 2011, a Texas-based pro-life organization began installing billboards with an anti-abortion message on the South Side of Chicago. They use an image of President Obama to discourage African American women from their legally protected rights to a full range of reproductive health options. Since then, we have learned that these billboards are unpermitted, and a violation of City of Chicago signage ordinances (Chapter 17-12). The billboards are the result a private deal with Lake Outdoor Advertising and the landowner at 5812-20 S. State Street, and thus an illegal use of public land for private profit.

The billboards were just the latest stunt in an attempt to draw people on both sides of the abortion issue into a fight over racial issues, as well as use over the top imagery in an attempt to garner free publicity for the anti-abortion cause.  A prior effort, signs in New York that declared the most dangerous place for an African American is “in the womb,” was so offensive that even the mother of the child used in the picture was demanding it be removed.

These efforts don’t elevate the discourse over abortion, they only seek to divide us even further, causing a chasm not just between pro-life and pro-choice but by race, too.  To find out that they are illegal as well is not a shock.

Tell Chicago to take down these illegal, race-baiting billboards.

photo from wikimedia commons


Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin6 years ago

Part 3.
Quacks perform illegal abortions everywhere and millions of women either die or get severly injured from this procedures, but in your book it's completely OK.
You do not realize that you can not speak for half the world's population. Maybe you want to rip women of the right to vote aswell as our right to our own bodies?
Are you willing to care for all unwanted children living in hellish conditions at overcrowded orphaneges?
I guess the answer to those two questions are yes. It obviously is when you are willing to take away a woman's right to chose. Observe: CHOSE. I do not condemn a woman that CHOSES to give birth and I do not condemn a woman that CHOSES to end a pregnancy. I can only defend a woman's right to do just that. C-H-O-S-E.
And, finally, Lois E. You do not CARE for women at all, but you're still here on Care2.....
I. Rest. My. Case.

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin6 years ago

Part 2.
Going over the facts and reading your emotional posting concludes this:
You believe that outlawing abortions will save life. Well, not women's life, since so many are forced to carry a fetus to term. I have several friends that couldn't afford an abortion that had to give birth. These women had all been raped by either their father or another male relative and my friends had to both endure the hazards of pregnancy and a diabolic delivery and then hand over the child to be adopted by strangers.
You obviously believe this is preferred.

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin6 years ago

Part 1.
Lois E.: Emotions aside, let's discuss the facts.
Fact 1. Hundreds of thousand women die every year due to botched abortions performed in countries where legal abortions do not exist.
Fact 2. Millions of women are raped every year and some of them get pregnant.
Fact 3. More than half the world's population consist of women.
Fact 4. Besides a few muslim countries, women do have the right to vote.
Fact 5. There are several millions of unwanted children living in orphaneges.
Fact 6. A fetus can not be insured, have a bankaccount, be enrolled in school or do anything else a person can.
Fact 7. A womb is a part of a woman's body that is hers and no one elses.

Amber M.
Amber Beasley6 years ago

aww, too bad it's illegal. I wish those were everywhere.

Mary Swan
Mary S6 years ago

This is for Lois E, (and all the "abortion is murder" believers). While I greatly respect your obvious compassion for babies, I would like to know if you believe that compassion should be applied to all persons equally, all ages, all religions, all degrees of innocence? Many of the conservative Christians who hold strong views against abortion are strong supporters of war as well as capital punishment. It is utterly repugnant to me that American as well as Canadian and other troops have murdered hundreds of thousands of human beings for no reason/benefit that I can see. Many of those murdered are Iraqi and Afghan children or pregnant women, as well as men who are only trying to defend their country, home and family from foreign invaders who have NO right to be there. While we have abolished the death penalty here in Canada, many US states still perform this barbaric form of institutional murder, there is no other word for it.

So how do you feel about these issues? If you can say that there is a "difference" between any of these lives and those unborn babies you are so desperate to save, I will then say leave the hypocrisy at home and leave my body and ALL decisions regarding it to me. I know how to make compassionate decisions for my life and can apply that compassion to all. Murder is wrong and abortion, while not "good" is not murder.

john hall
john hall6 years ago

Elizabeth L.
iam glad to see you have no value on life .

Elizabeth L.

Since President Obama's mother was white, not black, the whole premise of these billboards is fallacious. I'm am glad to hear they are illegal and they should be taken down. Human beings come into existence at the moment of a live birth. What is in the womb before that is just a shell with no soul.

Bernadette P.
Berny p6 years ago

men will realy try anything to stop women making thier own decision...shame on you!

Chris P.
Chris P6 years ago

To me people, having an abortion is a big health risk, such as HIV/AIDS

Jeannie Miner
Jeannie Fuchs6 years ago

No I do not think they should take the billboards down. It is just that a billboard how many billboards do you see for McDonalds or KFC do you think it is not offensive to vegans. Come on if you don't want to see it don't look. And yes I do believe a woman has the right to make her decision.