PRO-LIFE SPEECH SQUASHED
This past spring, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) of New York City squashed pro-life speech. In both instances, the ads were considered too offensive to be accepted.
The ad in the Philadelphia Inquirer was a quarter-page submission paid for by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops; it was coordinated with the Philadelphia archdiocesan pro-life department. The ad was a statement against partial-birth abortion. Though it contained no graphics, it was still judged to be “too harsh.” The newspaper did not indicate how an ad that discusses the killing of babies that are 80 percent born could avoid portrayal of this harsh procedure in a manner that was less than harsh.
The MTA spiked an ad by the American Life League that displayed a photograph of an 8-week-old baby in the womb; it featured the slogan, “Please don’t do it. She’s your baby.” A spokesperson for the MTA admitted that the ad was being rejected because of its content, thus setting the stage for a legal battle. The agency did not say how an ad that urged women not to kill their unborn children could avoid portrayal of this offensive act in a manner that was less than offensive.
The Catholic League encourages the pro-life community to continue to submit anti-abortion ads. Some will be accepted and thus trigger a dialogue on the subject. Those that are rejected will also contribute to this dialogue. In these instances, the conversation will inevitably extend to what it is that frightens the pro-abortion community, as well as to their never-ending hypocrisy over individual rights. Either way, it’s a win-win for our side.