ABC Censors Pro-Life Ad Criticizing Barack Obama’s Pro-Abortion Record

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 10, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

ABC Censors Pro-Life Ad Exposing Barack Obama’s Pro-Abortion Record

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 10
, 2008

New York, NY ( — The ABC television network is coming under fire from a leading pro-life group for censoring a political radio ad that criticizes Barack Obama’s pro-abortion voting record. National Right to Life hoped to run the ad during the nationally syndicated Sean Hannity radio program.

The ad asks Obama when he will apologize for calling the group "liars" for pointing out how he misrepresented his votes in the Illinois legislature against bills that would require medical care for babies who survive failed abortions.

Two nonpartisan groups, and have verified NRLC’s claims as true — leading the pro-life group to produce the ad.

On Friday, NRLC received notice from ABC Radio Network that it would not air the ad during Hannity’s radio program.

In an email to National Right to Life, ABC Radio Network executives claimed the ad, "while supporting aspects of a Pro-Life position, weighs more heavily toward electioneering."

However, the ad is paid for by the NRLC political action committee, which is allowed to do "electioneering" under federal law.

"ABC’s rejection smacks of being a politically motivated gag order," NRLC communications director Derrick Jones told "It seems that the pro-Obama leanings of the mainstream media have overflowed into their sales departments as well. To reject a political action committee’s ad because they think it is too political, borders on the absurd."

Jones pointed out that, four years ago, the group ran similar radio ads on the ABC network without any censorship from its executives.

"Four years ago, NRL PAC ran electioneering ads supporting George W. Bush. ABC’s lame excuse this year fails to hide their true motivation of helping Barack Obama conceal his extreme pro-abortion position from the American public," Jones added.

Douglas Johnson, the legislative director for the group, points to a recent analysis showing the mainstream media have barely touched Barack Obama’s abortion position. He calls the ABC rejection of the ad another part of the media campaign for him.

"The ABC gag rule is part of a broader pattern of behavior in which the mainstream news media filter out or distort the extremes of Obama’s pro-abortion record," he told

He accused the media of not wanting to discuss "his actions to block legislation to protect infants born alive following abortions in Illinois, his commitment to enact the so-called ‘Freedom of Choice Act,’ which would make partial-birth abortion legal again and nullify all parental notification laws, and his support for requiring taxpayer funding of abortion."

At issue is the bill that Obama opposed that would provide medical care for newborn infants who survive abortions.

Obama says he voted against the bill because it didn’t mirror a national version that had language making it neutral on Roe v. Wade — even though Obama voted for language in committee to make the state legislation conform.

The National Right to Life Committee released documents exposing Obama’s misrepresentation and the pro-abortion presidential candidate later accused the group of "lying" in a terse interview.

"We find that, as the NRLC said in a recent statement, Obama voted in committee against the 2003 state bill that was nearly identical to the federal act he says he would have supported," FactCheck indicated after reviewing the documents.

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