Saatchi & Saatchi revives pregnant man to protest US anti-abortion rulings

The new artwork revives the agency’s iconic 1970 campaign with the face of anti-abortion US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito

Saatchi & Saatchi pregnant man 2022
Saatchi & Saatchi pregnant man 2022

Saatchi & Saatchi has updated its ‘pregnant man’ campaign following the US Supreme Court’s ruling that abortion is no longer a protected right, overturning the 1973 landmark Roe v Wade decision that decriminalised abortion across the United States. The ruling effectively removes the right to an abortion from the US constitution and places it in the power of state legislatures. Abortion is now banned or under serious threat in more than half of US states.

The ad agency has revived the hugely famous campaign, which featured the tagline ‘Would you be more careful if it was you that got pregnant?’ and updated it with the face of US Supreme Court Justice, Samuel Alito, and the line ‘Would you be more careful with your vote if it was you that got pregnant?’. Alito has served on the Supreme Court since 2006, having been appointed by George W Bush, and has voted against abortion rights in every decision the court has considered since. Last week, he gave a public speech mocking international leaders’ criticism of the US decision to overturn women’s rights.

Cramer Saatchi pregnant man 1970
Cramer Saatchi pregnant man 1970

Saatchi & Saatchi says that the campaign is “is still absurdly relevant in the wake of the overturning of Roe Vs Wade”, adding that “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 more timely. There’s never been a more important time for creativity to impact culture and society.”

The original ad was created in December 1969 for the UK Health Education Council’s Family Planning Service to promote its free contraception advice. The agency then went by the name Cramer Saatchi (headed up by Charles Saatchi and art director Ross Cramer); and the ad was the brainchild of art director Bill Atherton and copywriter Jeremy Sinclair, and was shot by Alan Brooking.

“We should be using every platform we have in the UK to show support for women’s rights as they are rolled back in the US,” says Saatchi & Saatchi CCO Franki Goodwin. “We are proud to be able to lend this iconic piece of Saatchi creative to highlight the hypocrisy and the regression of the Supreme Court’s decision.” 

The UK protest ad follows the launch of a new ad titled Whose Choice in the US, which has since gone viral. The ad uses a tragicomic switch in tone to underscore the cruelty of laws in Texas that mean that even if a foetus has complications so serious that it won’t survive, abortion is outlawed.  There are also no exceptions for rape or incest.

Whose Choice is created by Chelsea Aldrich for Mothers Against Greg Abbott, a Texas-based group with various political leanings that campaign for the rights of families in the face of the frequently damaging decisions made by Texas governor Greg Abbott. The group’s name is a play on the ‘MAGA’ (‘Make America Great Again’) acronym, and its ads form part of its campaign urging Texans to vote Abbott out of office.

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi
CCO: Franki Goodwin  
Designers: Nicola Kythreotis, Raphael Souza
Creatives: Hemi Patel, Cristiana Candido 
Senior Creative Artworker: Paul Jeffreys