Jesus’ ultrasound will be featured on anti-choice billboard in the UK

Ultrasound photo of a baby with a halo
Apparently Mary had an ultrasound machine in that barn where she gave birth to the baby Jesus!
At least that’s what a UK anti-choice group would like you to believe. In a new anti-choice ad campaign, billboards featuring a simulation of Jesus Christ’s ultrasound will be rolled out, according to a recent article in Salon. The campaign will be a seasonal one, rolled out during Christmas time next year with the slogan “He’s on His way: Christmas starts with Christ.”

John Smeaton of the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child says, “This advertisement sends a powerful message to everyone in Britain … Whenever we kill an unborn child in an abortion, we are killing Jesus.”

Update: This comment was too good not to amend to this original post.

MLEmac28 said:
That ad is actually very effective. I promise that if I become pregnant without having sex and an angel tells me that I am carrying the savior, I will not have an abortion.
However, given that I am not a virgin, I think giving birth to the messiah is probably out of the question, so I’ll have as many guilt-free abortions as I please.

UPDATE II: Turns out the billboard is supposedly not meant to be an anti-abortion campaign, but a campaign to promote the religious origins of Christmas. It’s being read as a pro-life message though, and I would say rightly so.

Join the Conversation

  • Melissa

    This is SO FUNNY I can’t even be mad.

  • FLT

    John Smeaton of the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child says, “This advertisement sends a powerful message to everyone in Britain … Whenever we kill an unborn child in an abortion, we are killing Jesus.”
    Well, yeah, but it’s ok, cuz it’s in fulfillment of the prophecies. (smirk)


    “Whenever we kill an unborn child in an abortion, we are killing Jesus.”
    I’m assuming this is a coded reference to Mt 25:37-40, but using it as an argument against abortion is question-begging: for a fetus to be “one of the least of these”, it has to be a person, which is the point of disagreement.

  • MLEmac28

    That ad is actually very effective. I promise that if I become pregnant without having sex and an angel tells me that I am carrying the savior, I will not have an abortion.
    However, given that I am not a virgin, I think giving birth to the messiah is probably out of the question, so I’ll have as many guilt-free abortions as I please.

  • Essay Chess

    I don’t think you have all your facts right. The news articles this is sourced from states that it is actually a campaign by a load of Protestant churches (Methodist, Church of England etc). Being a member of the C of E, and attending a protestant school, I was surprised when this was posted for the simple reason that this kind of thing just does not happen over here. Upon further investigation, I was right. It’s acutally a Christmas campaign to get more people thinking about the religious significance of Christmas. No pro-life message was intended- that bit only comes from some crack-pot pro-lifer asked for his opinion. This article is really quite misleading.
    It is only being criticised because it is similar to pro-life ultrasound pictures. The ultrasound was chosen to seem modern rather than for any pro-life message. In any case, the ultrasound they’ve chosen is of a baby too old to be aborted under laws over here anyway. I have never met a single real pro-lifer over here anyway- not even the vicars and chaplains I’ve met from the various institutions I have learned in.

  • Cassius

    I think its time people start to distinguish between anti choice ads and ads that want to encourage women to exercise one of the 2 choices they have.

  • SociologicalMe

    Man, I hope halos are flexible.

  • Claire

    Perhaps instead of this, they could focus their time and money on helping young unwed mothers who potentially might be carrying the savior of humanity too. You know, those girls of “lesser virtue” they no doubt rail against as well from their pulpits.
    This campaign is a waste of time. Do they really think their all-powerful God would forget to inform some girl that her fetus would be the savior of humanity? No, they’re just using their God as an excuse to restrict the rights of women. Personally, I think God would be offended by that.
    Does anyone else think that Mary had to have been some sort of badass. I mean to be told that you (at age 14 or something) were responsible for the savior of humanity in a cultural climate that would have rather killed you and your baby for adultery. I mean, seriously, how many of us could have done that.

  • Tracey T

    In addition to that one, they also love to bring up the versus that speak to prophets being “known” before they were born, people being sewn up in the womb,etc.
    They never seem to bring up Exodus 21:22 which says that the price for killing a fetus is a fine whereas that for killing a person is death, and I believe either Deutrmony or Levicticus says the punishment for causing a woman to miscarry is the same fine as for the destruction of property.

  • Rachael

    You know, I find it relevant that Mary had the choice whether or not to give birth to Jesus.

  • pluralist

    I thought this was a pro-Christmas ad, not an anti-choice ad – it was simply co-opted by the antichoice crowd. Granted, it’s ridiculous no matter what way it’s spun.

  • Mighty Ponygirl

    Right. It says a lot about their mindset: that Mary was an unwilling mother, possibly forcibly raped by the Holy Spirit. Actually READING the gospel, you realize that Mary knew she would have hardships, but accepted her role willingly. Not really the sort of person you expect to go trotting off to the abortion clinic.
    Hell, even the ancillary people in Mary’s life got a visit from the Almighty to help them. Joseph was ready to ditch his cheating slut fiance until an angel was like “it’s cool.”
    Kind of changes the narrative. But it’s not like they’ll let that stop them.

  • Athenia

    I once had a dream where I found myself a virgin and pregnant. I freaked out and I had an abortion.
    I woke up and it occurred to me that if I was a virgin and pregnant, I must be carrying the Second Coming!
    I called up my friend and exclaimed, “OMG!! In my dream, I aborted the Second Coming!”
    He reassured me that this was probably a good thing.
    Second Coming = End of the World? Right?


    Ugh, seems vaguely blasphemous to me. Especially if that’s not created artwork, but an edited ultrasound being used to represent Jesus. Either way, it’s always fcking disgusting to co-opt Christ for your political agenda.

  • Audentia

    Actually, the “virgin” thing is a Greek retcon–the Hebrew citation is more like ‘young woman.’ So better be on the lookout for archangels! :o)
    Meanwhile, I’m heartened–now that we have proof halos show up on ultrasounds, we should have solid evidence to discount future cult leaders proclaiming themselves to be the next coming of Christ!

  • turninnburnin3

    I too promise the same thing. I swear if I get pregnant and the picture has a halo I will not have an abortion, but on the flip side if the picture has a Hitler mustache…

  • DownAtTheDinghy

    Killing Jesus???? WTF?!?!?
    who cares?

  • its_me

    Wouldn’t the halo make natural birth a little complicated? I don’t remember a mention of a c-section from CCD.

  • smiley

    Sorry guys; the advert does not set out to be anti-choice.
    It was drawn up by eocumenical charity,, which is backed by a number of Christian organisations including the Church of England, the Baptist Union, the United Reformed Church, the Anglican and the Methodist churches.
    If some want to see anti-choice, then so be it. But I suspect *any* ‘pro-Jesus’ or ‘-Christmas’ advert will be deemed pro-choice.

  • liv79

    Why is Jesus wearing a glow in the dark jelly bracelet around his head? Is this supposed to be Raver Jesus?

  • Surfin3rdWave

    I had a middle-school teacher who told me that she was opposed to abortion because she thought it might stop the Second Coming. Her logic was that a teenage girl who says she’s a virgin might now be forced into abortion, and no one would believe her.
    So she thought that it would prevent Jesus from coming back.
    When I saw the picture at first, I thought that it was coming from someone with the same idea.
    That teacher, by the way, also told her students that Africans have AIDS because they eat monkey brains, that all lesbians are sterile because they have uterus-scarring infections, and that leukemia is an STD.
    I agree with Melissa that this is too hilarious to be infuriating.

  • Nora Rocket

    I look forward to a similarly themed billboard, which they’ll be obliged to allow in service of equal time, of course, that pastes the face of, say, Charles Manson over an ultrasound. “What if his mother had known?”
    Makes just as much sense to try to inspire preemptive guilt at aborting what might have become a great person as it does to inspire the false hope that one could abort what might become a bad person.


    I get that it’s joke, but still…. Being Pro-choice is about having the option when you need it, not just defiantly having abortions for the sake of having them, like it’s some kind of badge of honor. Let’s keep the conversation serious, or else the opposition will keep having ammunition to shoot back at us.

  • supremepizza

    I swear we have such a tin ear for politics sometimes. We can snark & smirk all we want but this is an extremely effective image. There’s a reason the new thing among pro-life legislatures is requiring women to view ultrasounds. Effective PR is why the pro-life side is gaining momentum & we’re losing it. We need to put as much effort into PR as they do.

  • Sandi

    Actually, being pro-choice is about abortion on demand without apologies; whether one “needs” them or is just having them “for the sake of having them” are not relevant.
    The opposition is shooting first, not returning fire. Moreover, they need no encouragement and no amount of hedging is going to deter them.

  • Toongrrl

    I don’t think Jesus would be very happy at them…

  • gemma

    I’ll agree with the other Britons posting comments. I don’t think a British person would see that image and think of abortions. There’s no mental connection for me between an ultrasound and an abortion. Ultrasounds are for happily-pregnant women to show around at work, as far as I’m concerned.
    Looking at that image, I might be a bit peeved that religious people want me to be religious. But if I ever found myself needing an abortion, I’d just go to the doctor and ask. No one wants to take that right away from me. In fact, I would likely get it free on the NHS.
    The other thing I’d think, looking at that image, is how come the halo looks much neater than the baby? Isn’t God good at photoshop?

  • alextiefling

    As noted, this advert isn’t intended to carry an anti-choice message. This is, however, a definite gathering of the cranks. In order of appearance:
    The Churches Advertising Network (as is known to the part of the world that uses whole words in company names) produces a laughably shit advertising campaign every Christimas. In previous years they’ve had Jesus as Che Guevara, the Nativity as Mary having a ‘bad hair day’, and most recently, the Nativity in a bus shelter. Even those of us who belong to sponsoring denominations mostly see these as somewhere between a liability and an embarassment.
    The Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child (SPUC) are off-the-shelf anti-choice wingnuts, desperate for publicity. In this case, they’re flagrantly trying to claim a connection with an ad they’ve never seen before. It goes without saying that their theology is crap too.
    The National Secular Society are a bunch of po-faced gloom merchants. They’re so much more concerned with who said something than whether it’s constructive, it’s pathetic. If it weren’t for the religious differences, they’d mostly fit in well in some incredibly glum protestant sect in eastern Scotland. They, too, are desperate for column inches. There are so many better atheist/materialist groups out there, like the British Humanist Association.
    It’s one big festival of self-publicising windbags.

  • Phenicks

    If a woman wants an abortion why would viewing an ultrasound for a few seconds or a few minutes change her mind about being pregnant for the next however many months she has left and THEN continue on to raise it once its born?
    I understand, no one should be FORCED to see it but I don’t get the whole *gasp don’t look at the fetus or it will magically make you really wanna become a mommy* thing.
    Unless she sees something she wasn’t expected (and therefore was completely misinformed about what’s going on inside of her body) I don’t see how an ultrasound could be this great revealing moment. I always thought of it as what it was, pictures of embryos or fetuses in utero. You could show me a billion pictures of the cutest kittens EVER and I still wouldn’t want another one.

  • ohmyheavens

    Did anyone hear read the original article? Did you Miriam, before you posted it? I just hate it when people comment and form opinions without fully reading the text. Now everyone has egg on their face and “rightfully so.” How is it Miriam that you saw the word church and immediately thought anti-choice, and then saw an a picture of an ultra sound and thought abortion. In other words church+ultrasound= banning abortions???

  • makomk

    In any case, the ultrasound they’ve chosen is of a baby too old to be aborted under laws over here anyway.
    That’s never stopped pro-lifers before. They’re not exactly the most honest bunch, you know.

  • Steph

    How did this happen? How can we make it happen here in the USA? Was there some argument that resonated? I am in despair. When I talk with fundamentalist Christians I get to a point where they will not recognize that any other belief system is valid. Or even if they do, they do not respect it and say that they will work to take away my choice anyway – because their conscience must be followed.