Monday, March 02, 2009
A Strange Choice of Poster Boys
This past week an anti-abortion ad rejected by both NBC and CNN turned up on YouTube.
The ad is interesting for several reasons.
The first is immediately obvious. The ad shows an ultrasound video of a fetus and provides a hypothetical description of it. "This child's future is a broken home," the ad says. "He will be abandoned by his father. His single mother will struggle to raise him."
"Despite the hardships he will endure this child will become the first African American President."
The ad presents Barack Obama as an example of why a woman considering an abortion should think twice. The ad implores the viewer to "consider the potential".
It's interesting that this ad, produced by the Catholic Fidelis Center, would choose Barack Obama as a poster boy for the anti-abortion movement. Obama's policies on abortion alarm most anti-abortion advocates to the extent that many of the most crazed religious spokespeople refer to Obama as the anti-Christ (at least those who don't refer to him as Hitler).
Secondly, the ad is factually wrong.
It is true that Obama was born to a single mother and that, even by his own account, his father abandoned him.
But to suggest that his mother struggled to raise him is an exaggeration. According to his own account in Dreams From my Father, Obama's mother didn't raise him alone.
Indeed, Obama's Hawaiian grandparents were very active in his upbringing, and helped his mother raise him.
Branding Obama as a poster boy for the anti-abortion movement is an intriguing move, but mischaracterizing his childhood undermines the credibility of the inventive ad. Not to mention the fact that Obama's own pro-abortion policies provide built-in re-branding.