Who can resist a trusting little baby’s helpless gaze? Who can miss the message with it: “Did you know? Your baby’s heart starts beating at 21 days. Is abortion really an option? Get the facts; get help.”

The picture and message appear on some of the latest outdoor ads from 40 Million and Counting. Like the babies it’s trying to save, this grassroots campaign is itself young and small, but it is already making some impact in parts of Los Angeles and San Diego.

“We’re trying to educate the public to show them going through an abortion is more than what the people you’re paying $300 for it are telling you,” explained one of 40 Million and Counting’s staff members. “This is a living being, a life. You may call it a fetus, but if it’s got a heartbeat, it’s a human being.”

Relatively new on the pro-life scene, 40 Million and Counting launched its first campaign with 10 billboards in the South Bay areas of Los Angeles in 2010. Soon the countless people driving two major freeways, the 405 and 110, saw 40 Million’s billboards. Some referred women to the Torrance Pregnancy Help Center nearby.

That’s the hope for five more billboards of this campaign that launched on March 5 at the University of Southern California. The ads are located at University Village, a USC-owned shopping center connected to the campus where students do a lot of shopping.

With increased donations, the group hopes to one day inundate the airwaves, newspapers and Internet, along with the billboards, with its “choose life” message. 

For more information, visit 40MillionandCounting.org.