Radio Station in Baltimore Pulls NARAL Ads for Pro-Abortion March

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 17, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Radio Station in Baltimore Pulls NARAL Ads for Pro-Abortion March

by Paul Nowak Staff Writer
April 17, 2004

Baltimore, MD ( — A Baltimore radio station has pulled ads for the pro-abortion "March to Save Women’s Lives" sponsored by NARAL, saying that they were drawing complaints from listeners.

Adult contemporary station WWMX 106.5FM said it received numerous complaints from listeners, the first of whom heard the ad airing on the station’s morning show, JoJo and Kenny in the Morning.

Steve Monz, the station’s program director, said that the station prides itself on its family-friendly program content.

"We’re family-friendly, kid-safe," said Monz. "Our barometer is, if our listeners have to explain to their kids what an item is, and they’re uncomfortable with that, we’re uncomfortable with that."

The ad, which contains the words "rape" and "abortion," was considered objectionable to listeners and was pulled, although NARAL blames politics.

The pro-abortion organization isn’t happy with the station’s decision.

"The right wing seems to be able to cow a radio station into pulling the ad," said Evelyn Becker, a spokeswoman for NARAL, who sponsored the ads to promote their march in Washington on April 25.

"They have made it clear that they had no problem with the content of the ad. They said they received too many complaints and took it off," added Becker.

WWMX routinely pulls ads that are not "family-friendly," according to Monz, including condom ads that air on national programs and menopause-related spots. The station is about to air a campaign for Playtex tampons, with a provision that the ads will be dropped if listeners object.

The station is owned by Viacom, the media giant who drew criticism for the content of the 2004 Super Bowl half-time show when pop star Janet Jackson’s breast was shown to a worldwide audience of hundreds of millions of people.

NARAL has purchased time on 18 east-coast radio stations, including two others in Baltimore who have not reported any complaints. The ads are scheduled to run from April 5 through the rally later this month.

Despite the number of marchers already signed up, abortion advocacy groups are apparently concerned that not enough will attend. To ensure a large crowd for the event, the lead sponsors have invited anti-war and anti-Bush protesters to join them.

Though the addition of extra marchers ensures a swelling of their ranks, it would guarantee that not everyone attending has keeping abortion legal as their main political concern.