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“77%” poster campaign by the Pro-Choice Public Education Project

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on May 3rd, 2022. Artwork published in .
    “77%” poster campaign by the Pro-Choice Public Education Project 1
    Source: www.devitoverdi.com DeVito/Verdi. License: All Rights Reserved.

    In 1998, posters appeared all over New York City’s subways and buses, reading:

    77% of anti-abortion leaders are men. 100% of them will never be pregnant.
    It’s your body. It’s your decision. The Pro-Choice Public Education Project. It’s pro-choice or no choice.
    1(888) 253-CHOICE or www.protectchoice.org

    The design was unmistakably leaning on the work of artist Barbara Kruger, using her signature style of text set in Futura Bold Italic, white in red bands on black-and-white photographs. It’s not an actual work by Kruger, though. The campaign was devised by Abi Aron Spencer and Aaron Eiseman, then senior art directors at DeVito/Verdi, along with copywriter David Brenner and art director Rob Carducci, and was commissioned by the Pro-Choice Public Education Project. Kruger endorsed the message, having previously spoken out against anti-abortion laws herself. Most prominently, she produced Untitled (Your body is a battleground) for the Women’s March on Washington in support of reproductive freedom in 1989.

    From Katherine Diekmann’s contribution to the Barbara Kruger monograph (MIT Press, 1999):

    […] the body remains a battleground, to paraphrase one of Kruger’s better-known sayings, especially since right-wing infiltrations into a woman’s right to choose gain ground by the day, and no one seems to notice. For that reason, Kruger allowed a campaign by the Pro-Choice Public Education Project to adopt her style in a 1998 ad campaign for abortion rights. The images were basically Kruger clones, right down to the red-and-white slanted slogans, although they lacked Kruger’s punch and precision (“Think you can do whatever you want with your body? Think again’’). Whatever the impact of the campaign, it also revealed how inimitable Kruger’s work truly is. By agreeing to let herself be copied for a cause, Kruger displayed yet another of her facets – call it Barbara Kruger, Anti-Author. She’ll always permit her visual methods to be borrowed in service of an important issue, without fussing over ownership.

    You can read more about the campaign in Paula Span’s article for the Washington Post from 1998.

    Square variant with a different crop and what appears to be a mirrored version of the photo
    Source: historyinposters.tumblr.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Square variant with a different crop and what appears to be a mirrored version of the photo

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    1 Comment on ““77%” poster campaign by the Pro-Choice Public Education Project”

    1. You can see additional images from the campaigns for the Pro Choice Public Education Project on their website as well as of those by Abi & Aaron and DeVito/Verdi.

      “Think you can do whatever you want with your body? Think again.” Image source: DeVito/Verdi

      “Of all the things of the 70’s to make a comeback, there’s one we really hate to see.” Image source: Abi & Aaron
      “When your right to an abortion is taken away, what are you going to do?” Image source: DeVito/Verdi

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