PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:

Rebekah Spicuglia, Media Director
Women’s Media Center
(office) 212-563-0680; (cell) 415-290-2970
[email protected]

Coalition of Progressive Organizations Demand CBS Pull Divisive Anti-Choice Super Bowl Ad

January 26, 2010 (New York, NY) – The Women’s Media Center and united organizations dedicated to reproductive rights, tolerance, and social justice have launched a campaign calling CBS to immediately pull an anti-choice advertisement sponsored by Focus on the Family to air during Super Bowl XLIV.

CBS has a well-documented history of prohibiting advocacy ads it deems controversial, rejecting ads from organizations such as PETA, MoveOn.org, United Church of Christ, and even ones that carry only an “implicit” endorsement for a side in a public debate. Last year, NBC made the prudent decision to not air anti-choice messages during the Super Bowl. CBS executives have indicated in the past that they would not air Super Bowl ads where “substantial elements of the community (are) in opposition to one another.”

Focus on the Family is an organization well-known for opposing the equality of Americans based on gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and reproductive freedom. This ad uses one story to subtly dictate morality to the American public, and encourages women to disregard medical advice, potentially putting their lives at risk. Abortion is a controversial issue and anti-abortion vitriol has resulted in escalated violence against reproductive health service providers and their patients.

“An ad that uses sports to divide rather than to unite has no place in the biggest national sports event of the year – an event designed to bring Americans together regardless of background, faith, ideology or political affiliation,” says Jehmu Greene, President of the Women’s Media Center.

The ad goes against the approximately 70 percent majority American view that reproductive decisions should be left up to a woman and her physician; against the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that such decisions are protected by a constitutionally guaranteed right to privacy; and against the health needs of the 1 in 3 American women who will need an abortion at sometime in her life.

American values of privacy and freedom should be respected, not undermined during the Super Bowl. CBS must take action now, by canceling the airing of Focus on the Family’s anti-choice ad.

To speak with WMC President Jehmu Greene, or to book other experts on health reform, health care politics, or women’s reproductive rights, please contact Rebekah Spicuglia, (212) 563-0680, [email protected].

Coalition partners signed onto the letter to CBS include: Abortion Access Project, ACCESS/Women’s Health Rights Coalition, Women, Action & the Media, Advocates for Youth, Alternet, By Any Media Necessary, California Council of Churches IMPACT, CAMI project, Choice USA, Civil Liberties and Public Policy (CLPP)/Hampshire College, Equality Now, Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF), Feminist Press,

HollabackNYC, Ibis Reproductive Health, Law Students for Reproductive Justice, MAMAPALOOZA!, Media Equity Collaborative, Medical Students for Choice!, Ms. Foundation, New Prospect Family Praise and Worship Center, National Organization for Women (NOW), NOW-NYC, OpEd Project, Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, Religious Institute, RH Reality Check, Sisterhood is Global, Inc, The White House Project, Third Wave Foundation, Women, Action & the Media (WAM!), Women In Media & News, Women’s Information Network (WIN).

About the Women’s Media Center: The Women’s Media Center is a non-profit organization making women visible and powerful in the media. Its women’s health care campaign NotUnderTheBus.com is working to ensure that health care is fair, safe, and accessible to all.

Please visit WomensMediaCenter.com to learn more about our work.

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