by Steven Ertelt
February 28, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — An organization that frequently files lawsuits to stop the activities of pro-life groups is targeting the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and ads the organization is running in the Washington metro system. The USCCB ads started in January and educate people about Roe v. Wade and its effects.
The ads try to help area residents and influential government workers understand the ramifications of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision.
They are run through the group’s Second Look Project and have been featured on the metro system before and in other places such as San Francisco, where abortion advocates vandalized many of the ads.
While many Americans wrongly believe the Roe decision allowed abortions only in the first trimester, the USCCB ads tell metro passengers "myth: abortion is legal only in the first three months of pregnancy. fact: it’s legal for the entire nine months for virtually any reason."
They also inform riders that the "human heart begins to beat at 22 days; Roe v. Wade says a doctor can stop it for the next 244."
But the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) doesn’t like the message and wants the ads taken down.
The group sent a letter today to John Catoe, the general manager of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) claiming the ads are misleading and that they violate WMATA’s own guidelines governing commercial advertising.
CREW alleges the USCCB ads violate guidelines stating that, "advertising will not be accepted which is false, misleading or deceptive," and that "medical and health-related messages will be accepted only from governmental health organizations."
In a statement LifeNews.com received, CREW says Roe v. Wade only allows abortions in limited circumstances, not through all nine months of pregnancy as the USCCB ads state.
Seemingly making the USCCB’s argument, CREW admits that Roe "provides that before viability a woman may have an abortion free from government interference" and, afterwards, "states can and have restricted or prohibited abortion" although that’s not always the case.
"Mr. Catoe should abide by WMATA’s policies and immediately remove these false and deceptive ads from the Metro system as quickly as possible," Melanie Sloan said in the statement.
CREW has previously attacked the work of pregnancy centers and pro-life groups.
Last November, CREW filed a lawsuit seeking information on federal funding of pregnancy centers across the country. The group claimed the government is funding centers that are providing misleading information to women.
And in November 2005, CREW said the pro-life organization Focus on the Family was violating its nonprofit tax status by allowing Dr. James Dobson, its founder and president, to advocate the election of political candidates.
Dobson did that only in the capacity of a private citizen, not speaking on behalf of the group.
ACTION: Express your support for the pro-life ads by contacting the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority at 600 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001, calling 202-962-1234, or by using the WMATA comment form on its web site at https://www.wmata.com/riding/ridercomment.cfm.