Saatchi & Saatchi releases new ‘Pregnant Man’ ad with Supreme Court judges marking Roe V Wade anniversary

 (Saatchi & Saatchi London)
(Saatchi & Saatchi London)

To mark the 50th anniversary of Roe V Wade, a landmark legal decision on abortion rights in the US, male Supreme Court judges have appeared in the latest version of Saatchi & Saatchi London’s “Pregnant Man” advert.

The advert has been released by the global advertising and creative company for a third time to show its support for women’s rights, 50 years after the Roe V Wade decision granted women the right to choose abortion across America.

This time, the “pregnant” male figures depict US Supreme Court judges who successfully voted to overturn Roe V Wade last year, including Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh and Samuel Alito.

The decision effectively removed the right to an abortion from the US constitution and placed it in the power of state legislators, which prompted protests across America and widespread international criticism.

Five Supreme Court judges voted to overturn Roe V Wade - Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and final Donald Trump appointee Amy Coney Barrett - while four did not.

Demonstrators take part in the annual National Women’s March in New York on Sunday, January 22, marking the 50th anniversary of the 1973 US Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision (AFP via Getty Images)
Demonstrators take part in the annual National Women’s March in New York on Sunday, January 22, marking the 50th anniversary of the 1973 US Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision (AFP via Getty Images)

In response to comments made by US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, a long time opposer to abortion rights, Saatchi & Saatchi last year re-imagined its very first piece of work - “Would you be more careful if it was you that got pregnant?”, created in 1970 for the Health Education Council - imposing Justice Alito’s face on the work and asking, ‘Would you be more careful with your vote if it was you that got pregnant?’.

In Saatchi & Saatchi London’s third iteration of the ad, entitled “50 years of men making decisions over women’s bodies”, Supreme Court judges Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch make an appearance with Justice Alito front and centre.

In a draft majority opinion written by Justice Alito, leaked last year, the Supreme Court Justice said: “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”

Saatchi and Saatchi CCO Franki Goodwin said: “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.”

“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.”

The advert comes a day after thousands of pro-choice supporters marched through streets in America demanding protections for reproductive rights.

Sunday’s main march was held in Wisconsin, where upcoming elections could determine the state Supreme Court’s power balance and future abortion rights. Rallies took place in dozens of cities, including Florida’s state capital of Tallahassee, where Vice President Kamala Harris gave a fiery speech before a boisterous crowd.

“Can we truly be free if families cannot make intimate decisions about the course of their own lives?” Ms Harris said.

“And can we truly be free if so-called leaders claim to be ... ‘on the vanguard of freedom’ while they dare to restrict the rights of the American people and attack the very foundations of freedom?”

The reversal of Roe in June unleashed a flurry of legislation in the states, dividing them between those that have restricted or banned abortion and those that have sought to defend access.

Abortion opponents were defeated in votes on ballot measures in Kansas, Michigan and Kentucky. State courts have blocked several bans from taking effect. Efforts are underway to help patients travel to states that allow abortions or use medication for self-managed abortions.

Some Democratic-led states have taken steps to shield patients and providers from lawsuits originating in states where the procedure is banned.