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Anger over anti-abortion sign using Obama’s face

A controversial anti-abortion billboard campaign that uses President Obama’s face to target black women was launched in Chicago amid angry scenes Tuesday.

Abortion-rights campaigners clashed with Always Life, the Texas-based anti-abortion group that plans to install 30 billboards across the South Side to draw attention to the disparity in the number of black women seeking abortions.

The billboard has a picture of Obama’s face next to the words “Every 21 minutes our next possible leader is aborted,” and encourages women to visit an anti-abortion website,

It was unveiled a month after abortion-rights protesters in New York forced another Always Life billboard to be taken down. It showed a black girl next to the words, “The most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb.”

Protesters Tuesday tried to drown out the campaign’s Chicago launch at an empty lot at 58th and State, heckling speakers and shouting that the campaign misappropriates an African-American icon and does nothing to offer desperate women alternatives or to help them raise their children.

But using loudspeakers and a public-address system, Pastor Stephen Broden, a Texas minister who serves on the Life Always board, shouted back that African-American abortions are “threatening the very survival of our community,” claiming the legalization of abortion in 1973 had created an “irreversible reduction” in the black population. He declined to say how much the group was spending on its campaign.

Activist La’Keisha Gray-Sewell hollered “Go back to Texas!” as other women cheered her on and said that Always Life had done nothing for poor pregnant women.

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