Did This Media Blitz Send Ohio Abortion Rates Plummeting?

Heroic Media billboard
A Heroic Media billboard is seen. Since the pro-life organization began its Ohio Life Collaboration Campaign in 2010, abortion rates throughout the state have dropped to historic lows. (Heroic Media )

Since Heroic Media, a pro-life organization that uses multimedia to present life-affirming resources to pregnant women, began its Ohio Life Collaboration Campaign in 2010, abortion rates throughout the state have dropped to historic lows.

In 2011, the number of abortions fell an unprecedented amount of 12 percent, bringing Ohio abortion rates to the lowest level since 1976. Despite a slight increase in the number of abortions in 2012, the overall number of terminations was the second-lowest in the state since 1976. According to the 2012 Induced Abortions Report, prepared by the Ohio Department of Health, the abortion ratio decreased to 174 abortions per 1,000 live births, down from 181 in 2011.

Additionally, in areas of the state where Heroic Media concentrated its advertising efforts, rates dropped to 15 percent lower than the 2010 levels.

“We are encouraged by the success we are seeing in Ohio, because it shows how often women will choose life-affirming alternatives over abortion when they are presented with all of their options,” says Marissa Cope, director of marketing, communications and research at Heroic Media. “The decrease in abortion ratio represents pregnant women choosing life for their unborn children.”

Through the Ohio Life Collaboration Campaign, Heroic Media has partnered with several pro-life organizations, including Option Line, Heartbeat International, Right to Life of Northeast Ohio, ICU Mobile as well as numerous churches and pregnancy centers. The campaign’s goal is to connect women facing unplanned pregnancy with life-affirming resources. By collaborating to achieve this common goal, each organization is able to concentrate its efforts on what it does best along the “connecting” chain.

The campaign, which currently features Internet, television and outdoor advertising statewide, has generated over 90,000 connections with life-affirming resources since late 2010. Currently, Heroic Media is running a six-week television campaign, including 195 commercials on BET and MTV. The campaign, which began on March 18, generated over 50 responses in just its first few weeks.

“Many women choose abortion because they don’t know all their options,” Cope says. “Our goal is to give a woman all the information she needs to make an informed decision. While we are pleased with the latest reports, we also realize there are still lives at stake in Ohio. Recently, a 22-year-old woman lost her life at an Ohio abortion clinic. This tragedy underscores how important it is for us to continue offering life-affirming help in Ohio.”

According to the latest report, abortions among African-American women have increased nearly 5 percent, and abortions in women 25 years and older are also on the rise.

“The reports of increases in abortions in older women and African-American women are troubling,” says Julia D’Andrea Norton, Ohio Life Collaboration coordinator. “Along with Right to Life of Northeast Ohio, we will be shifting our communications strategy to come alongside those women with a message of hope. Even with the decrease in abortion rates, there were still 24,000 abortions in Ohio in 2012. Our job won’t be done until no baby is lost to abortion.”

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