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Elections & Politics

Planned Parenthood Action Fund Calls on NBC to Stop Silencing Ads and Programs Mentioning Abortion

Contact: Planned Parenthood Action Fund Media Office, 212-261-4433

For Immediate Release: 06.20.14

New York, NY – Citing reports that NBC has refused to allow the word “abortion” on the air, Planned Parenthood Action Fund today called on the network to clarify its standards and engage in discussion about the impact of contributing to stigma about abortion.  

Planned Parenthood Action Fund launched a petition today calling on NBC to “Lift the Gag Order,” allow ads and entertainment content that mention abortion, and engage in discussion with leaders in women’s health about the importance of having an honest, accurate conversation about abortion. Reports today indicate that NBC refused to run an ad for the romantic comedy Obvious Child because the ad included the word “abortion,” with sources saying that they found the “subject matter was inappropriate for viewers.”  

Statement of Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

“It’s outrageous that NBC apparently blocked content simply because it included the word ‘abortion.’ We’re deeply troubled by what appears to be a new practice at NBC that belongs in another decade and feeds shame and stigma about abortion.

“We have reached out directly to NBC executives to engage in a conversation about their standards and their responsibility to contribute to honest, accurate, and sensitive discussions about women’s health.

“The vast majority of American support access to safe and legal abortion, and they do not see the mere mention of ‘abortion’ as inappropriate on network television. It’s far past time that we had an honest conversation around the lack of honest portrayals of women’s lives in film and media. A major television network like NBC should be helping move that conversation forward - instead, they’re apparently refusing to even take part.  That’s unacceptable, and NBC should immediately establish clear standards that contribute to honest, accurate dialogue.”

Read Planned Parenthood's statement on the film here: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/newsroom/press-releases/planned-parenthood-on-summer-rom-com-obvious-child

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Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.