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Media: Nets Snub NARAL

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Three middle-aged men in suits follow a 15-year-old girl everywhere she goes, making all her choices for her: which soda to buy, which TV show to watch, which dress to try on. "You wouldn't want some old guys in Washington to make choices for you," a woman's voice suggests. "Why let them make the most important choice of all? Fight for your right to a safe and legal abortion . . . while you still have it." The 30-second spot by DeVito/Verdi advertising is the latest installment in a campaign seen on buses and subways over the past few years, with one big difference: The Pro-Choice Public Education Project, the alliance of naral, Planned Parenthood, the Ms. Foundation, and other groups that paid for the ads can't get them on the air. The four major networks rejected the ad based on a long-held policy of not running issue-based ads -- but that policy has been bent in recent years. The Arthur S. DeMoss Foundation's "Life: What a Beautiful Choice" ads popped up on network-owned-and-operated stations around the country in the mid-nineties, as have pro-life ads by Gary Bauer's Focus on the Family group, sometimes after more provocative images have been trimmed out upon request. "Each owned-and-operated station sets up its own standards and practices concerning these ads," says an NBC spokesperson. "You have to wonder whether we would have gotten them in if we hadn't used the word abortion," says project director Marion Sullivan. "It's frustrating. I mean, it's only been the law of the land for 30 years."


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