A large billboard in New York from an anti-abortion group has created controversy to go along with debate.
Texas-based organization Life Always is being sued by New Jersey mother Tricia Fraser for using her 6-year-old daughter's image on a billboard some people have called racist and offensive
Tricia Fraser filed a lawsuit today against Life Always over the billboard that went up at the corner of Watts Street and Sixth Avenue in SoHo briefly in Manhattan in February.
An Associated Press story on NJ.com reports the billboard showed Fraser's daughter, who is black, and the words, "The most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb."
The lawsuit alleges the use of Fraser’s daughter's image was "defamatory, unauthorized and offensive." And the lawsuit called the billboard "racist."
Life Always claims Planned Parenthood looks at minority neighborhoods and that abortions among African-American women are three times higher than the rest of the population.
Fraser had signed an agreement allowing her daughter’s pictures to be used, but the lawsuit claims its license prohibited the use of the image in a defamatory manner.
According to the New York Daily News, Anissa was four when Tricia took her and three sisters to a one-hour modeling shoot in 2009 in Manhattan. The billboard was taken down on Feb. 24 after many protests.
Marissa Gabrysch, a spokeswoman for Life Always, spoke to Fraser in February. "We certainly understand her concerns," Gabrysch said to the New York Daily News. "Out of respect for her, we've decided to no longer use the image going forward.”
On their website, Life Always claims that only three percent of all Planned Parenthood health services were abortions. But that number added up to 332,278 deaths in 2009. And Planned Parenthood told CBS New York in a statement that the creators of the billboard campaign are “using a divisive message around race to restrict access to medical care.”