Pro-Choice Ad Campaign Launched to Attract Young Women

A brand-new abortion rights ad campaign has hit the billboards, buses, and subways of New York City this month. The campaign, developed by the Pro-Choice Public Education Project (PEP), is aimed at young women between the ages of 16 and 25 who are pro-choice, but not likely to be frequent voters or ardent supporters of abortion rights.

“The majority of young women don’t believe that this right is ever going to be taken away,” said Nancy Yanofsky, President of the Pro-Choice Resource Center in Port Chester, N.Y., and a member of PEP’s steering committee. “And that makes sense – it’s been the law of the land their whole lives.”

One ad features a photograph of scowling men in suits and ties with the slogan “77% of anti-abortion leaders are men. 100% of them will never be pregnant” printed in red across the bottom.

New York City buses will feature the phrase “When your right to a safe and legal abortion is finally taken away, what are you going to do?” The question mark at the end is in the shape of the top of a wire coat hanger.

PEP, made up of 46 pro-choice organizations including the Feminist Majority, the American Association of University Women, the American Jewish Congress, and the YMCA, has already raised half of their goal of $6 million to push the campaign nationally.

The year-end issue of People magazine will contain an ad featuring a city teen with nose and eyebrow piercings and body tattoos with the slogan “Think you can do whatever you want with your body? Think again.”

All of the ads conclude with the line, “It’s pro-choice or no choice.”

Not only does PEP want to increase overall awareness of the importance of choice, but it also hopes to encourage young people to vote. “We want higher numbers in the polls,” said Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation. “We want more pro-choice activity. And eventually, we want more voting.”

Smeal strongly approves of the campaign, saying, “It’s very contemporary and it’s bold. It’s in your face. It doesn’t mince words.”


Washington Post - December 3, 1998

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