Pro-life group Heroic Media is disappointed after several national newspapers refused to run, and labeled “too controversial,” an ad featuring a model of a 20-week old fetus held in a hand.
Both the Los Angeles Times and USA Today refused to run the advertisement altogether, while the Chicago Tribune settled for a revised version, with a different picture of a live 20-week old baby en utero.
“It strikes me as ironic that a medically accurate fetal model was too controversial, when the actual babies being aborted are living humans with blood pulsing through their veins,” Marissa Cope, marketing and research director at Heroic Media, a pro-life apostolate, told CNA July 12.
Major newspapers that ran the original advertisement included the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. Some papers ran the ad with the stipulation that the wording “made it clear that it was a paid advertisement,” Cope said.
Cope called the rejections “disappointing, but not surprising.”
The goal of the advertisement was to raise awareness of a baby’s development at 20 weeks gestation. Congress is currently considering a bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks, when an unborn child can likely feel pain.
There is evidence that fetuses can feel pain as early as 20 weeks, and they certainly can by 24 weeks.
On June 18, the House passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
It states, “there is substantial medical evidence that an unborn child is capable of experiencing pain at least by 20 weeks after fertilization, if not earlier.”
Though the bill has passed the House, it must still pass the Senate, and the White House has suggested that if it arrives on President Obama's desk he will veto it.
The administration stated that the bill “shows contempt for women's health and rights, the role doctors play in their patients' health care decisions, and the Constitution.”
A similar bill was passed in the Texas House July 9, and is due to be considered by the state Senate.
Cope said, “we know that the public is uncomfortable with giving a face to the children being aborted at 20 weeks. The reality of abortion is unspeakable – devastating; and that’s the problem we’re trying to address.”
Heroic Media has also ran a successful series of television ads encouraging women with unwanted pregnancies to give their child up for adoption, rather than aborting him or her.
The ads generated hundreds of contacts to Heroic Media's partner, Bethany Christian Services, which provides adoption counseling and resources.
Cope said Heroic Media’s purpose is to help women in crisis pregnancies and to propose alternatives to abortion, and that they will continue to spread their message despite the resistance they face.
“We’re grateful for our supporters who enable us to use media to save lives and change hearts and minds across the country, everyday.”