Anti-Abortion Group Claims Fake Victory in Nebraska Billboard Battle

Screenshot: YouTube/KETV (Fair Use)

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Nebraska Right to Life, an anti-abortion group, is slyly taking credit for the removal of pro-choice billboards in the state when, in fact, the ads were already slated to come down. It’s just the latest example of how anti-abortion activists and politicians often resort to lies to support their twisted narratives and policy goals.

A reproductive justice group called Free & Just launched a billboard campaign in early August to highlight that a Nebraska teenager had been sent to jail for disposing of a stillborn fetus after using abortion pills, and that her mother is awaiting sentencing for obtaining the pills, which the state claims is providing an illegal abortion. (Self-managed abortion is not explicitly banned in Nebraska, but that didn’t stop the prosecutors.) The red billboard has white text that reads: “Women are going to jail under Nebraska’s abortion ban.” The group purchased space on five billboards around Omaha.

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“The contract for our billboards expired on August 31—plain and simple. This is a sad and desperate attempt by Nebraska Right to Life to gain relevance and claim victory when they know their dangerous and extreme positions are unpopular among the majority of Nebraskans.”

So, to recap: an anti-abortion group got mad that a billboard correctly noted that women are facing jail time for seeking abortions in Nebraska, initially failed in getting the billboard removed, and then acted like their call-in campaign was a success when in reality the billboard was already coming down on August 31 no matter what. *Chef’s kiss gesture*

Later this month, Nebraskan Jessica Burgess will be sentenced for giving abortion pills to her teen daughter in violation of the state’s 20-week abortion ban that was in place at the time. (The state now bans abortion after 12 weeks.) The case punches a giant hole in the anti-abortion narrative that bans won’t ever harm women and girls who end their pregnancies—they will, and they’ll also harm the people who help them. It takes a lot of effort and support to get an abortion in another state or outside the medical system, and prosecutors keep showing us that they can and will go after everyone they can.

Anyway, hope Nebraska Right to Life has a nice time Googling the “Streisand Effect.”

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