by Steven Ertelt
September 27, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Cellular phone company Verizon Wireless and top pro-abortion group NARAL have been feuding over the ability of the organization to use its system to send out text messages to its membership with alerts and updates. Verizon initially refused to allow NARAL to use its network but higher officials reversed the decision.
A regional unit of Verizon initially denied NARAL’s request to send out text messages to its membership.
In an email NARAL sent to its members and obtained by LifeNews.com, NARAL president Nancy Keenan said Verizon deemed NARAL too "controversial" and "unsavory" to approve a short code for the program.
"The bottom line is that Verizon won’t let its customers access our text-messaging program," Keenan said.
But higher-ups at Verizon reversed the decision on Thursday and spokesman Jeffrey Nelson said in a statement, "The decision to not allow text messaging on an important, though sensitive, public policy issue was incorrect."
"Upon learning about this situation, senior Verizon Wireless executives immediately reviewed the decision and determined it was an incorrect interpretation of a dusty internal policy," Nelson said.
He indicated abortion was a topic previously prohibited under the mass text messaging programs the company offered, but that policy has been updated following the controversy.
Other leading wireless networks have approved NARAL’s text messaging program.
Before Verizon changed its tune, Keenan had strong words for the wireless company.
"Verizon’s decision sends chills down my spine. What kind of company would deny its customers who signed up to receive information the ability to use their cell phones to participate in our democracy? That’s just wrong," she said.
Keenan said she had sent a letter to Verizon president and CEO Lowell McAdam asking him to change the policy and urged her group’s members to blast the company with requests to change it.