A group of pro-choice advocates, local residents and social services providers turned out Tuesday to protest the arrival of a series of controversial anti-abortion billboards depicting President Obama.
Three billboards line the side of a building near a vacant lot at 5812 S. State St. and feature an image of Obama with the words, "Every 21 minutes, our next possible leader is aborted."
The anti-abortion group behind the controversial "Dangerous Place" billboard in New York City launched the Chicago campaign and held a press conference to announce their arrival.
But a demonstration broke out around the event with locals shouting angry missives at the group.
The executive director of the Chicago Abortion Fund, Gaylon Alcaraz, said her organization was there to protest the billboards not just because of their message, but because the group that sponsors them likely won't invest in the community where they've been erected.
"People from outside of this community come into this community for shock value and a little news attention," she said. "Then they'll leave and they won't do anything for these communities."
Life Always, the group behind the billboards, plans up to 30-plus billboards in South Side neighborhoods. The group said in a statement the ads are targeted at the "disproportionate number of abortions among African Americans."
"Our future leaders are being aborted at an alarming rate," said Life Always Board Member Reverend Derek McCoy in a statement. "These are babies who could grow to be the future Presidents of the United States, or the next Oprah Winfrey, Denzel Washington or Maya Angelou."
The billboard in New York eventually was removed after complaints mounted. It read, "The most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb."