Black Lives Matter supporters outraged at 'Both Lives Matter' anti-abortion billboard in Wellington

An anti-abortion advertisement has sparked outrage online for using similar language to the 'Black Lives Matter' slogan.

The 'Both Lives Matter' billboard in Wellington has been criticised by Black Lives Matter supporters on Facebook, who are claiming the ad borrows language from the movement to serve an anti-abortion agenda.

The billboard by anti-abortion group Voice for Life uses imagery of a pregnant woman holding an ultrasound photo of an unborn baby on her stomach.

Under the photo reads: "Both deserve better than an extreme abortion law".

A Black Lives Matter supporter posted a photo of the billboard in a Facebook group and gained almost 200 comments.

The post's author wrote: "I'm disgusted this was allowed to be put up. And with that 'slogan' in this time?? The undertone is distasteful it's not right man."

One person replied: "That's disgusting. Makes me so angry. Congratulations on managing to be misogynistic and racist in one short phrase!"

The ad has been up continuously since October 2019 and rented to Voice for Life by billboard company Media5.

Director of Media5 Alf Jamieson says the advertisement was not intended to have any resemblance to the Black Lives Matter movement, calling it an "unfortunate coincidence".

Jamieson says Media5 does not support Voice For Life's position on Abortion Law Reform, but allowed the group to book the billboard space due to the freedom of expression granted by New Zealand's Bill of Rights.

"A democracy doesn't work if we don't allow people we disagree with their own right of expression," Jamieson says.

Jamieson told Newshub the billboard would be removed on Wednesday when Voice For Life's contract ends.

complaint about the billboard was rejected by the chair of the Advertising Standards Authority Complaints Board in October 2019.

The complainant said the ad was offensive for implying people who seek abortions are behaving irresponsibly, which could lead to harassment of those who seek abortion care.

The Chair said political commentary within advertising was "not only acceptable but encouraged" for being "essential and desirable part of the functioning of a democratic society".

Outraged commenters discussed tactics to remove the advertisement, from throwing eggs at the billboard to using balloons and paint to cover the image.