CHBC, the Kelowna local television station that drew national coverage this week after agreeing to air a pro-life ad, has changed its mind, claiming that the ad is too graphic.
The ad was sponsored by Kelowna Right to Life (KRTL), who got the news of its cancellation yesterday. “The reason they gave is that it’s simply too graphic for a television commercial,” said Marlon Bartram, KRTL’s executive director. The station told Bartram that they had received between 12 and 18 complaints from people who demanded the ad not run.
“So a handful of abortion activists have persuaded a major media outlet to once again censor the truth of what is the most important social, moral and human rights issue of our time,” he said in a press release. “The bottom line here is that this outlet is compromising the fundamental purpose of media: to seek out the truth and present it in a fair, balanced, and thorough manner. Although Global TV has been very good about running our ads for some time now, it appears as though they have sided with abortion activists this time.”
KRTL has been inundated with e-mails about the ad, Bartram told LifeSiteNews (LSN), with approximately ten positive responses to every negative one. “We received a number of comments saying (the ad) was not graphic, it was well done and even beautiful,” he told Kelowna.com.
The ad has drawn criticism for its inclusion of what has been called a “graphic anti-abortion image.” It portrays an adult hand holding the hand of a baby, and as the camera pans out, it reveals that the hand is, in fact, that of a baby killed by abortion. The ad begins with the slogan: “All those against abortion, raise your hand.”
“In a sense it’s graphic, but there’s much, much more graphic images that are shown on TV these days,” he told LSN. “If you’re going to ban this image, you’re going to have to ban every crime show that’s out there. You’re going to have to ban advertising for upcoming movies, … video games, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Half the content on TV will have to be banned if this sets the standard.”
The ad was produced by Priests for Life, based in New York, and Bartram told LSN earlier this week that he believes it would have been the first time an aborted child appeared on Canadian television.
While he says he’s “disappointed” at the cancellation, he’s been pleased at the exposure generated by the national and even international media coverage. “It’s getting out there nevertheless, even though it’s not running in our market for the time being,” he said. “It’s probably been seen by more people already than it would have been if it had just ran in our small market here.”
Before the ad was cancelled, Derek Hinchliffe, CHBC’s news director, told The Province that it would be wrong for them to refuse the ad, as it was approved by the Television Bureau of Canada. “It has met with their approval, so if we were to say, ‘No, we’re not going to run it,’ we would have been offensive,” he said.
“700 living, unborn, human children are violently killed by abortion every year in our community alone, and over 100,000 across Canada,” stated Bartram. “Its time the media does its due diligence, stop censoring the truth, and expose the horror of abortion for what it truly is.”