Mother of Girl Depicted in Controversial Ad Sues Anti-Abortion Company

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The mother of a six-year-old girl who was depicted in a controversial billboard ad that read, “The most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb,” has sued the ad developer for violation of contract.

Tricia Fraser said that she would have never allowed her daughter, Anissa, to be placed in a huge New York ad and associated with an “offensive, defamatory, and racist statement,” Adweek reported. Fraser said that she signed a release form for her daughter’s pictures to be used for stock “family photos” only.

According to the suit filed in New York Supreme Court April 26, Life Always, defendants in the suit, purchased the picture from Getty Images under an agreement which said in part that the photo should not be used “in connection with a subject that would be unflattering or unduly controversial to a reasonable person.” Fraser says the company did not follow that agreement.

The firm, operating under the name Heroic Media, mounted huge billboads in Jacksonville, Fla. and on a busy street in Manhattan, outside the entrance of the Holland Tunnel which depicted Anissa framed by the anti-abortion message.

Fraser said she responded to an advertisement on nycastings.com in 2009, after which her four daughters were screened and then cast for a “project.” Fraser said that neither she nor her daughters received payments for photos, just copies of the images.

“At no point was she told that they might be used to illustrate a controversial message or as a political propaganda,” the complaint stated. “While Life Always and Heroic Media certainly have the right to engage in such offensive speech, they do not have the right to exploit the likeness of an innocent child to do so.”

In the complaint, Fraser requests damages and an order to prevent her daughter’s images from being used in any way by the defendants.