Planned Parenthood isn’t the only group having a hard time getting abortion-related ads on TV. Last fall, MTV decided not to run an unpaid public service announcement from New York-based Choice Productions. The 30-second spot features the B-52’s’ Kate Pierson and Talking Heads’ Tina Weymouth, among others. ”Abortion is not an issue that we plan to focus on at this time,” says MTV spokeswoman Carole Robinson, citing competing issues like AIDS and the environment. MTV does not accept issue-related paid ads, and so also refused the De Moss spots. ”We’ve never accepted commercials that address abortion,” she says.
On another front, the National Abortion Rights Action League paid more than $200,000 to run spots on CNN in January and February; they included one in which a World War II vet talks about his mother’s death from an illegal abortion. NARAL was asked to provide additional documentation for his claims, including his birth certificate and his mother’s death certificate. ”Our ads are subjected to exacting scrutiny,” says NARAL attorney Lois Murphy. ”I don’t know if De Moss has had the same kind of scrutiny on their claims, that in fact each of those children [in the ads] was the product of an unplanned pregnancy.” But CNN says that the De Moss ads were not checked because they weren’t ”testimonial. All you have are pictures of happy children.”