by Steven Ertelt
June 30, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The National Park Service is still working on revisions to the video that is shown at the Lincoln Memorial after a rash of complaints that footage in it included several shots of abortion advocates and none of pro-life rallies.
After two pro-abortion groups filed a lawsuit against it over the revisions, the Park Service released numerous documents under the Freedom of Information Act. Those documents show the Park Service is purchasing footage of various events on both sides of the political spectrum to include in the video.
People For the American Way Foundation (PFAWF) and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) filed a lawsuit in federal court in January claiming the Bush administration is illegally withholding information about the revision.
The suit asked for the release of the documents.
The Park Service announced in November 2003 that it was changing the video that has been running at the memorial since 1995 and seen by millions of visitors.
The current video was compiled by high school students in conjunction with the Park Service during the Clinton administration. Some of the students involved in the project complained that it was being revised, despite it being ten years old.
"The Lincoln Memorial is America’s soapbox," Ilene M. Morgan of Los Angeles, who helped organize the project as an Arizona high school student, told the Associated Press. "This was where people have stood to get America’s attention. That’s what we were trying to capture."
Park Service Deputy Director Don Murphy told AP that it has a "responsibility to present a balanced approach. We do not respond solely to any special interest group."
In 2003, Congressman Todd Tiahrt, a Kansas Republican, convinced the Park Service to change the video. Echoing concerns of pro-life groups, Tiahrt objected to the portions of the video that depicts 16 seconds of footage from a NARAL pro-abortion rally.
Some of the visuals included signs and banners reading "National Organization for Women," "I Had An Illegal Abortion In 1967 – Never Again," "Keep Abortion Legal," and "I Am Pro-Choice America."
Throughout the controversy, the original video continues to be played at the Lincoln Memorial.
Related web sites:
Lincoln Memorial – https://www.nps.gov/linc