Planned Parenthood is behind the billboards being erected in Iowa, encouraging women to be open, honest, and unashamed when discussing their decision to end the lives of their children via abortion.
The ads feature real-life Iowa women who have had abortions and are speaking out about the necessity of them.
One billboard reads, "I had an abortion, and I am not ashamed."
Another reads, "I had an abortion, and it was just health care."
Yet another billboard boasts, "I had an abortion, and I am not apologizing for it."
So this is where we are as a society.
The new campaign, #SayAbortion, was launched on Friday, and seeks to change the "culture" of abortion in Iowa.
According to a news release, the campaign is "focused on breaking the cycle of silence and stigma around abortion care in Iowa."
The ads for #SayAbortion are featured on billboards in metropolitan areas across the state, and has been initiated as a result of Iowans who are "speaking out against the state's dangerous, unconstitutional 6-week abortion ban," which, at the time of this writing, has been blocked by a court injunction.
The fetal heartbeat bill — which was signed into law in May by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) — bans abortions beyond the time health care professionals can detect a fetal heartbeat.
Reynolds, when signing the bill into law, said, "I believe that all life is precious and sacred, and as governor, I pledged to do everything in my power to protect it."
Such professionals can detect a baby's heartbeat around six or seven weeks.
What did Planned Parenthood say?
In a lengthy statement, Dr. Jill Meadows — medical director for Planned Parenthood Heartland — said:
Planned Parenthood envisions a culture where abortion access is understood as a basic human right, an essential part of health care and a normal part of life. For some people, the decision to have an abortion is easy, and for others it is very difficult. At Planned Parenthood, we're here to provide nonjudgmental support and factual, medically accurate information so that every patient can make their own personal decision about a pregnancy based on their own values, desires and needs. Abortion is incredibly common, yet too often people who have abortions are made to feel like they can't talk about it, or when they do speak up their stories and voices drowned out by the politics. With the #SayAbortion campaign, we are putting a stop to the extreme anti-choice interest groups speaking over our patients. We are amplifying the voices of real people who have had abortions, we are talking about abortion care out loud, and we are shifting the narrative so all people can talk openly about abortion with sensitivity to the complexity of real-life individual experiences.
The organization has been vocal about the campaign on Twitter.
One tweet about the project reads, "Abortion is safe, common health care — and in 2019, we are over the stigma. That's why today we launched #SayAbortion, a billboard campaign across Iowa amplifying the voices of real people who have had abortions."
Abortion is safe, common health care – and in 2019, we are over the stigma. That's why today we launched #SayAbortion, a billboard campaign across Iowa amplifying the voices of real people who have had abortions.
Learn more and share your story at https://t.co/gyvnhap3dc. pic.twitter.com/G797rHUmao
— Planned Parenthood (@PPHeartland) January 4, 2019