On the making of pro-choice commercials

What a pro-life bill (About tax money going to fund abortions)was being considered, NARAL (a major pro-abortion group) developed two commercials to sway public opinion. This was after they conducted a major survey to see what would have the most impact. The commercials that were made misrepresented the facts. They decided to show them to reporters:

“The first commercial was too crudely dishonest to parade before reporters, so she [the woman running the press conference) showed them the second. It opened with a chastely dressed girl walking home from school with books under her arm. “Imagine,” said the male narrator. “Your fourteen-year-old child, your own sweet daughter, is raped and pregnant. She’s frightened, confused, and so are you.” On the screen, the girl sobbed in her mother’s arms.

The narrator went on: “Imagine , too, the government says they’ll make the decision. Never mind Never mind the circumstances. You, your doctor, your preacher, your daughter have no say in this personal, private tragedy.” As he spoke, this panel of authorities appeared on the screen. The girl sat between her father and her mother as a gray-haired physician explained that he couldn’t help them end the pregnancy.

As the narrator enumerated the people excluded from the decision- parents, doctors, preachers- the visual image switched from a wide shot of the family and doctor to consecutive close-ups of the dismayed father and mother. The nightmare dissolved as the narrator concluded, “Don’t let this be a bad dream. Vote against Amendment 65.”

….Pro-lifers called the ad “a straight out lie” noting that the amendment didn’t ban abortions.  But Hickman [the pollster] had calculated correctly. With a week remaining and just $24,000 available for their own commercials, pro-lifers had no chance to launch an effective rebuttal.”

Later, a representative of NARAL:

“She admitted that her second commercial, which had portrayed Amendment 65 as a threat to Arkansas preexisting ban on abortion funding, was designed to confuse voters.”

William Saletan Bearing Right: How Conservatives Won the Abortion War (Berkley: California: University of California Press, 2004) 29, 40


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About Sarah

Sarah is a member of the board of The Pro-life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians.
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