Christian Coalition Says Anti-Abortion Ad is Being Censored

July 7, 2008 - 8:02 PM

(CNSNews.com) - The Christian Coalition of Florida believes it is the victim of censorship after several of the state's major newspapers rejected an ad designed by the organization.

The ad graphically depicts the stages of a partial-birth abortion, with the headline: "Help rescue those being led away to death! Supreme Court overturns partial birth abortion ban." The pictures are accompanied by the text of the dissenting opinion in the ruling.

According to a statement released by the CCFLA, the ad campaign initially achieved success. "A deal was struck with the Orlando Sentinel to run the ad in the Sunday Seminole Section and the Downtown Orlando Section as a test print." The newspaper accepted a check for $1,245 to run the advertisement.

However, a few days later, according to CCFLSA, "We were called by the Sentinel and told that the price was raised to over $5,000 and that pictures and text from Supreme Court Justice Kennedy could not be printed," the statement read.

Carolyn Kunkle of the CCFLA says she was told the Sentinel found the ad "too graphic and too controversial."

"But the news business is in the business of controversy," said Kunkle. "This was simply a lack of backbone and cowardice on their part. This only further proves the existence of a liberal media bias."

According to Kunkle, Shirley Gibbons of the Sentinel "started laughing when [Kunkle] identified [herself]," after calling to inquire about the ad's cancellation. Kunkle says Gibbons told her the reason for not running the ad was "Because we choose not to run it."

When contacted by CNSNews.com, Gibbons refused to comment on the ad's rejection.

"Our free speech rights are in question in a country where only the liberal media's version of the truth can be printed, quoted or distributed," the CCFLA statement said.

The CCFLA says it has experienced similar business dealings with several other Florida newspapers.

"The Miami Herald has not rejected our ad," Kunkle said. "But they are asking $15,000 to run it. So because of the high price, the ad will not be running in the Herald."

The Florida Keys Keynoter chose not to run the ad because "text and pictures were so graphic that it would have been upsetting to the readers of a family newspaper, even those who agreed with the ad," the editor stated.

"We agree that truth is disturbing and ugly, but we believe the public has a right to know the truth," the CCFLA said. "This is the writing of a Supreme Court Justice and a matter of public record," Kunkle said.

One Florida paper will be running the ad: the Florida Seminole Herald. According to Kunkle, "The ad will run this Saturday."

Seventeen other Florida newspapers have agreed to run the ad, but have yet to formalize the contract in writing.

The ad can be viewed at: http://www.ccfla.org/pba.htm.