Planned Parenthood Accuses NBC of ‘Silencing Ads’ on Abortion

June 23rd, 2014 1:22 PM

And I bet you thought the networks have a reflexive pro-abortion stance!

NBC recently refused to air ads for “Obvious Child” because the new film addresses abortion, New York Post’s Page Six reported. In response, Planned Parenthood began a petition to gather 15,000 signatures to pressure NBC to “Stop Silencing Ads Mentioning Abortion.”

Hyped as a “romantic abortion comedy” by the media, “Obvious Child” hits theaters nationwide June 27. The A24 film directed by Gillian Robespierre stars SNL’s Jenny Slate as Donna Stern, an aspiring young comedian who finds true love after abortion.

With almost 9,000 signatures, the petition urged “It’s been more than 40 years since abortion was legalized – it’s about time television caught up. If you agree, add your name to our letter to NBC now.”

Deeming NBC’s actions to “censor mentions about abortion” as “outrageous,” the petition overview argued, “Three in ten women will have an abortion by age 45. And the vast majority of Americans support access to safe and legal abortion.”

The statement continued, “If NBC, is censoring the use of the word ‘abortion,’ then the network is refusing to even take part in a conversation, let alone an honest one that accurately reflects women’s lives.”

A Twitter hashtag emerged: #StoptheStigma. (and really, isn’t it about time we removed the stigma from murdering babies for the sake of convenience?) Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards bashed the network, tweeting, “@NBC should stop silencing ads that include the word "abortion" - and they should hear from you” and noting, “Refusing to air the word "abortion" on networks like @NBC = major throwback, and not in a good way.”

Planned Parenthood also tweeted, “NBC won't run an #ObviousChild ad with the word "abortion" in it. Tell @nbc to #StoptheStigma!” and “RT & Sign the Petition if you agree: It's time for @NBC to#StopTheStigma on abortion in media.”

But NBC appears to take the a-word seriously. During NBC's "Today" on June 17, Hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb interviewed Slate. Not once did any of them utter "abortion."

Not too shocking for the organization, as Planned Parenthood proved a staunch supporter of “Obvious Child” from the very beginning. What is surprising, is that a major news network refused to join in.

— Katie Yoder is Staff Writer, Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow in Culture and Media at the Media Research Center. Follow Katie Yoder on Twitter.