A pair of Milwaukee television stations have told two pro-life organizations they can’t buy airtime during select news programming because the advertisement they want to air is not approved by station management. Fox6 and WISN have both declined to air an advertisement sponsored by Wisconsin Family Action and Pro-Life Wisconsin even though the ad is very similar to other political and issue ads run by other organizations. The topic of the ad is AB 305, a measure that seeks to stop aborted fetal body parts from being used in scientific and medical research in Wisconsin.
Originally the two groups wanted to run the 30-second ad (below) during morning and evening news. WISN told one of the organizations they wouldn’t air the ads during the evening news, but they could air them during entertainment programming. Fox6, WITI, was more draconian, tersely informing Wisconsin Family Action that the ad would not be aired after 4am or before 10pm on the station.
“After review by our station management team we have made the decision to accept (air) the two commercials after 10pm and before 4am. We are not comfortable with the content during morning, daytime and primetime hours,” wrote Mike Neal, director of sales at WITI, in an e-mail dated December 30.
The pro-life organizations had originally sought to buy airtime on WITI for the morning news.
A person who works for Wisconsin Family Action said that although WISN offered daytime and late night options to run the ad, none of the programming reached the type of audience the organization hoped to reach via the evening news.
The ad debuted on TMJ4 on January 3, during Sunday Insight, a public affairs show hosted by conservative Milwaukee radio host and author Charlie Sykes. It depicts a 4D ultrasound image of a baby and asks “What is a human life worth?” before using information released by the Center for Medical Progress to note that body parts from aborted fetuses can be sold to researchers for between $60 and $90. The ad concludes that “Human dignity is priceless” before urging viewers to call Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) to ask him to schedule AB 305 for a floor vote in the Assembly.
Lawmakers are scheduled to return to Madison for the legislative session on January 12. AB 305, which would end the practice of using aborted fetal body parts in research, has already been approved by a legislative committee and is simply awaiting an up or down floor vote in the full Assembly.
The ad also started running in the Green Bay media market on Monday.
Dan Miller, state director for Pro-Life Wisconsin, said in a press statement about the television ad campaign, “Ethical and effective research does not, and never should, depend on the desecration of aborted human beings. We are simply calling on Speaker Vos to stand by his initial public support of AB 305 and to immediately schedule a floor vote on the bill. The votes are certainly there to pass this bill intact.”