Planned Parenthood has publicly distanced itself from a controversial anti-Trump billboard in New York City’s Times Square after an athletic clothing company cited the organization as a partner in its new ad campaign.
On Wednesday, the brand, Dhvani, unveiled the first in a series of images meant to protest the Trump administration’s “gag rule” prohibiting doctors at Title X-funded clinics from referring patients for abortions. The rule prompted Planned Parenthood to pull out of the federal grant program in August.
The billboard ad, called “Lady Liberty,” showed model Michal Mesa, whom Dhvani described in a news release as a Marine Corps veteran and a middle school teacher, standing over a screaming President Trump with her foot on his head. He is tied up, and storm clouds gather over the White House.
“We are proud to join Planned Parenthood in defending women from assaults on our reproductive rights,” Dhvani’s chief communications officer, Chloe Mason, said. “Trump administration policies are threatening the health and bodily autonomy of women, especially women of color, low-income women and LGBTQ women.”
A billboard posted at Times Square in New York City showed an image of a woman hog-tying President Trump.
However, in a statement to Fox News, Planned Parenthood rejected the campaign and said it would not accept any funds Dhvani vowed to contribute to the organization.
“Planned Parenthood does not endorse this campaign, nor will we be accepting funds raised by this campaign,” Planned Parenthood senior vice president Melanie Newman said. “Our staff members have faced threats and acts of violence for doing their jobs, and many of our patients turn to us as their safe space for care after facing violence in their lives. We do not condone violence or violent imagery against anyone.”
Following Planned Parenthood’s denouncement of the campaign, all references to the organization appeared to have been scrubbed from Dhvani’s website.
Dhvani also provided a statement to Fox News, stressing the company “does not and will never condone violence of any kind” but that it will “push forward” to fight for reproductive rights.”
“Our goal with Lady Liberty is two-fold; one, sell lots of activewear so we can make a massive donation and make a difference directly. Two, bring a lot of attention to this President’s war on women’s reproductive rights,” Dhvani CEO Avi Brown said. “The images we produced for this campaign artistically express the frustrations we believe many American women share, and are metaphorical in nature only. DHVANI does not and will never condone violence of any kind.”
“We’re going to push forward and raise as much money as we can for health care providers and fight the Title X gag rule with all we’ve got.”
As part of its #StandForSomething campaign, the Portland, Ore., company has other images of the president that are just as shocking, including one in which he sits on a golden toilet as a model takes away his cellphone.
Another Dhvani image shows a woman confronting President Trump.
According to Dhvani’s mission, as described on its website, the company is “committed to creating change in the world” and partners with nonprofit organizations.