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Local pregnancy center's attempt to 'boost' pro-life ad rejected by Facebook

Employees at a Harford County pregnancy aid center were perplexed when Facebook rejected their attempt to boost one of their online advertisements.

BEL AIR, Md. (WBFF) -- Employees at a Harford County pregnancy aid center were perplexed when Facebook rejected their attempt to boost one of their online advertisements.

The ad, which depicts the stomach of a pregnant woman with a sonogram image of a baby, reads "Every life is a miracle. If you are pregnant and need help Birthright is here for you."

Atha, the organization's outreach coordinator, didn't understand why Facebook wouldn’t allow the center to pay to have the advertisement reach a wider online audience.

"Within five minutes it was rejected," said Atha. "I didn't think that was appropriate. It was really rather odd since everything in the ad seemed very positive and encouraging."

After Atha appealed Facebook's decision, she found out it was the phrase 'If you are pregnant' that caused the social media giant to reject the message.

"They paralleled it to 'if you are fat' or 'if you are overweight'," said Atha, who was told by a company representative that Facebook doesn't allow ads that call out to specific user attributes, such as race, religion or age, since it could be offensive.

Atha re-worded the advertisement which now says "Every life is precious. Pregnant women and their families can find hope and unconditional support at Birthright."

It was approved, said Atha, but after twelve hours instead of minutes like her previous blurbs.

"It makes no sense," said Atha. "It definitely makes me wonder what's going on behind the scenes of Facebook a little bit."

E-mails to Facebook for clarification on the difference between Birthright of Bel Air's two advertisements were not returned to FOX45.

Atha wondered if having her friends share the new ad on their personal pages influenced Facebook's approval.

Her message to other businesses trying to advertise online is to remain vigilant.

"There's power in people," said Atha. "I think people sharing and saying 'hey this isn't right' I think that had to be noticed by Facebook in some regard."

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