Newspaper Reverses Decision Prohibiting Abortion Ads With Ultrasounds

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 14, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Newspaper Reverses Decision Prohibiting Abortion Ads With Ultrasounds Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 14, 2006

Joliet, IL ( — An Illinois newspaper that refused to print ads from a local pro-life organization has recanted its position and will now allow them. The Joliet Herald-News newspaper drew national attention to itself last week when it censored ads featuring pictures of unborn children taken during ultrasounds.

Will County Right to Life attempted to purchase ads on the January anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, but the newspaper told them no.

"After re-examining the ads that were submitted by Will County Right To Life, The Herald News has decided that the ads will be allowed to run should this group decide to do so," advertising director Steve Vanisko said in a statement provided to

Though the newspaper will allow the ads to appear, Vanisko denies saying they were "too graphic" to appear.

"[A]t no point did I state that the ads were ‘too graphic,’" he said. "If that was stated by a representative of this newspaper, it was done so in error."

Jill Stanek, an Illinois nurse who exposed life-birth abortions to a shocked nation, told she "appreciated" the newspaper changing its position on the ads. However, she’s discouraged that Vanisko denies labeling the ads as "too graphic" to appear.

"I do not appreciate his questioning the fact that his subordinate did relay to us that he/the advertising department originally rejected our ads because they considered them ‘too graphic,’" she said.

Our local contact with the newspaper wrote down what the ad rep said verbatim, including, "We have to be careful."

Nevertheless, Stanek described the position change as a pro-life victory and demonstrated the influence of the pro-life community and its ability to speak out about outrageous decisions.

"In the end, I must also thank the Herald News," Stanek told "Whereas Right to Life of Will County would have paid hundreds of dollars for our ad to be seen by only thousands of people, we ended up paying zero dollars, and the ad was seen by millions of people."

Previously, Vanisko stood by the "too graphic" label. He said the newspaper reserves the right to deny any ad for any reason.

He first denied the term "too graphic" was used to reject the ads, but later admitted that’s what he told the pro-life group.

"That’s not what I’m saying (that the term ‘graphic’ was never used)," Vanisko told CNS News. "I’m saying that the newspaper reserves the right, just like any other paper, to reject any ad for any reason. And that’s what we did. Period. End of story."

"Since when are ultrasounds "graphic," Stanek responded. "In fact, these ultrasound photos are beautiful. Parents proudly display them on their refrigerators, for goodness sakes."

The National Right to Life Committee produces the ads.

TAKE ACTION: Contact the Herald News and thank sthem for changing their position on the ads. Joliet Herald News, 300 Caterpillar Drive, Joliet, Illinois 60436 • (815)729-6161. You can also contact senior editor Bill Wimbiscus at 815-729-6124 or [email protected].

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