by Steven Ertelt
October 17, 2007
Pittsburgh, PA (LifeNews.com) — The public radio station at Duquesne University has pulled ads from Planned Parenthood after getting criticism over promoting the abortion business at the Catholic college. The station yanked the ads and refunded more than $5,000 in advertising costs Planned Parenthood paid.
The school issued a statement saying the pro-abortion group doesn’t share the beliefs of the Catholic Church and shouldn’t have been allowed to run the ads.
WDUQ started running the Planned Parenthood commercials on October 8 and, two days later, school officials told the station to pull them.
Duquesne spokeswoman Bridget Fare told the Associated Press that the ads, which did not specifically mention abortion, could not be allowed because they were “not aligned with our Catholic identity.”
The ads were written with help from members of the station’s staff and hundreds of university staff, students and alumni wrote to the station and the school to complain about them.
Scott Hanley, the station’s general manager, also commented on the matter and said Duquesne University president Charles J. Dougherty called him about the ads after initial outcry and said it was inappropriate for the school to accept money from the abortion business.
"He was concerned and said it was inappropriate for us to accept a gift from Planned Parenthood. And on reflection, I had to respect his opinion," Hanley told The New York Times.
Kimberlee Evert, a Planned Parenthood representative, said the station should seek to disaffiliate with Duquesne since it raises most of its money apart from the school.
"Our concern is that we didn’t realize to be an underwriter that you had to agree with Catholic doctrine," Evert told the Times.
WDUQ 90.5 FM had been in the middle of its pledge drive when the controversy erupted and the pro-abortion ads appear to have hurt fundraising efforts.
“The pledge response has been much lower than usual,” Hanley admitted. “It’s going to hurt.”
The Planned Parenthood ads are part of a larger campaign on the radio stations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey to promote comprehensive sexual education over abstinence.
ACTION: You can thank Duquesne University president Charles J. Dougherty by contacting him at [email protected] or at 510 Administration Building, 600 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15282, or calling 412-396-5160.