It's been 50 years since the right to abortion was passed in the US in 1973, yet 2022 marked a backward step when this right was overturned. The Roe v. Wade debate was commemorated at the time by advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi London with the release of the now-iconic Pregnant Man campaign for the Health Education Council in support of women's rights.
The original ad was launched in response to comments made by US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, who was vocal about his opposition to abortion rights. So the agency challenged Alito with the question, 'Would you be more careful if it was you that got pregnant?' and superimposed his face onto that of a pregnant man.
With the frightening removal of the right to abortion from the US constitution, leaving women's healthcare rights up to the power of state legislatures, there was a huge uproar and public disappointment with this result.
Saatchi & Saatchi reimagined the ad to mark the 50th anniversary of the original Supreme Court ruling and highlight just how regressive politics has become.
The new campaign titled '50 years of men making decisions over women's bodies' shows the male judges – Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch and Justice Alito – who sat on the Supreme Court that overturned Roe v. Wade as pregnant.
"50 years would usually be a milestone to celebrate, but instead, we commiserate with all the women in the United States whose bodies have, once again, been ruled to be outside their sphere of autonomy," says Franki Goodwin, CCO at Saatchi & Saatchi. "The Supreme Court has only appointed four female judges in the past 50 years, and the 1973 ruling was made by an entirely male court – and as such, the question of how men would behave, think or even vote if they were the ones who got pregnant is a conversation that is unfortunately as relevant now as it was five decades ago. We will continue to lend historic Saatchi creative to highlight this until change ensues."
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