Pro-life group Faces of Choice recently created a powerful ad that seeks to show “the many faces of survivors of abortion, to put a face to the ‘choice’ of ending life.” It spent considerable time and money hoping that the ad would air on Super Bowl Sunday.
However, according to Faces of Choice Executive Director Lyric Gillett, when they pitched the ad to Fox Sports, they were completely ignored. After complying with legal inquires and storyboard approvals, Faces of Choice did not even get the courtesy of a “yes” or a “no” response.
The ad was inspired by an advocacy technique that proved very successful during the civil rights movement. People unaffected by or unaware of injustice often need to see with their own eyes what injustice is being done to other human beings. They need to see that the people being mistreated are, in fact, human beings.
Each of the 14 abortion survivors featured in the ad looks the viewer in the eye and asks some variant of the question, “Can you look me in the eye and tell me that I shouldn’t be alive?” When confronted with these “faces of choice,” no reasonable viewer can deny their existence and humanity.
Prior to the invention of ultrasound technology, which allows women and men to see an unborn child while it is still inside the womb, many people did not believe that abortion was the killing of an actual human being. Today, many people do not believe that abortion survivors exist. Well, they do exist, and thanks to the Faces of Choice ad, anyone can look them in the eye.
Gillett is “convinced that the key to changing the cultural conversation about abortion is within the voices of the survivors. The idea behind this initiative is that every great civil rights or humanitarian movement of our era has had an actual face of a survivor attached to it, giving it meaning outside of a nebulous concept.”
Abortion, much like black lynching and other past atrocities, is a horrifying injustice with many deniers. It must be seen and acknowledged by society in order to be righted.
While Fox Sports may have denied it airtime, Faces of Choice’s powerful ad was played in front of thousands at the March for Life—and was introduced by Melissa Ohden, founder of the Abortion Survivors Network and an abortion survivor herself.
The 14 abortion survivors featured in the ad are as follows: “Dr. Imre Téglásy (1952, Hungary); Paula Page (02/24/54); Miriam ‘Penny’ Hopper (11/29/55); Denisha Workizer (7/11/76); Melissa Ohden (8/29/77); Jennifer Millbourn (9/02/78); Jennifer Callender (7/18/80); Claire Culwell (3/06/88); Hope Hoffman (8/12/91); Josiah Presley (10/07/95); Asiimwe Ronald Williams (9/25/97, Uganda); Dona Marie Mendoza (Philippines); Jaylin Schoch (8/15/03); and Zechariah Hagan (10/20/13), who was one of the first abortion pill reversal survivors.”