Some in the prolife movement have attempted to get their message across by standing outside abortion clinics with gruesome pictures of aborted fetuses. The Arthur S. DeMoss Foundation, located in suburban Philadelphia, has chosen a different tack.

The foundation has produced two professionally polished, emotion-laden television commercials whose implicit prolife messages consist of thanking those women who chose life. In regions of the country where the ads have run, they have provoked public debate concerning their merit, style, and message.

One of the commercials portrays a husband and wife getting a phone call, presumably from an adoption agency, informing them they now have a daughter. The narrator states, “Last year, over 50,000 women found families to adopt their unexpected children. They decided instead of abortion to tough it out and bring their babies into the world. They held to their belief that nothing is more precious than human life. Life. What a beautiful choice.”

The DeMoss Foundation, established by the family of the late insurance executive, has declined to reveal the extent of the ad campaign. But the commercial spots have appeared on several national cable networks: Cable News Network, Turner Broadcasting System, Nashville Network, Discovery, Lifetime, and MTV. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported the ads have aired in Pennsylvania, New York, Utah, Michigan, Iowa, North Carolina, Arizona, and Louisiana.

The positive approach, however, has by no means rendered the ads immune to criticism. The ads have encountered some resistance, including from WPVI, the ABC affiliate in Philadelphia, which chose not to run them. Said Charles Bradley, director of programming and operations at WPVI, “We don’t accept ads for controversial ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.