Wisconsin Newspapers Bashed for Censoring Pro-Life Ads on Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
October 8, 2009
Madison, WI (LifeNews.com) — Two University of Wisconsin System school newspapers are drawing criticism for rejecting an advertisement supplement published by Minnesota-based Human Life Alliance. The pro-life advertising supplement, entitled "icare…", employs an environmental theme to explore the impact of abortion on students in the United States.
HLA is well-known for its professionally-designed ad inserts that have educated millions of college students over the years.
Both the UW-Oshkosh "Advance Titan" and the UW-Stevens Point "Pointer" have refused to run the educational supplement.
The Pointer told HLA in a statement that "We have a policy against advertising topics which have a tendency to cause conflict, shame or controversy among the student body."
The Advance Titan told the pro-life group: "While we don’t necessarily disagree with the message that you wish to promote, some of our readers might, and we don’t want to alienate our readership by appearing to choose sides in such a controversial argument."
HLA director Jo Tolck was surprised that student newspaper, which traditionally champion free speech, would censor the pro-life ads.
"Human Life Alliance has worked with hundreds of student newspapers, giving young people a chance to learn truth about abortion," Tolck told LifeNews.com. "I guess these two editors have decided for their entire university what other students need to know-so much for free speech and academic freedom."
Despite the censorship, HLA ads were accepted at other Wisconsin newspapers.
Human Life Alliance inserts were accepted by the Marquette University "Tribune", the UW-Eau Claire "Spectator", the UW-La Crosse "Racquet" and the UW-Whitewater "Royal Purple" newspapers this semester. The UW-Milwaukee "Post" and UW-Madison "Badger Herald" ran a similar HLA piece last spring.
"This is censorship. It truly is," said Virginia Zignego, communications director of Pro-Life Wisconsin the organization sponsoring the inserts.
"Either they are ideologically opposed to the pro-life message or too scared to run anything controversial. Whichever, it is insulting to the intelligence of college students," she said.
HLA offers a paid advertising supplement to student newspaper across the country as a way of developing on-campus dialog around the issue of abortion.
The new insert, called "icare," is an updated version of the HLA’s original educational publication, "She’s a Child, Not a ‘Choice.’"
Displaying vibrant colors and engaging graphics, "icare…" uses a "go-green" theme to educate students. The publication features an eye-catching center section entitled "Save the Babies" that focuses on the development of the preborn child including images of in utero child development.
Previous versions of HLA’s pro-life campus supplement include "The Silent Epidemic", "Trapped…" and "We Know Better Now". Combined, these pro-life materials have reached 162 million people since 1991.
Related web sites:
Human Life Alliance – https://www.humanlife.org
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