Football fans in Chicago might get to enjoy a fetus-free Super Bowl next weekend. The city’s NBC affiliate has intercepted Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry’s plan to air a gory anti-abortion ad during the big game.
As MoJo‘s Tim Murphy has reported, Terry, a long-time foe of abortion rights, has launched a write-in primary challenge against President Obama in order to get his graphic ads on the air. According to Federal Communications Commission regulations, TV stations must give federal candidates unrestricted access to the airwaves in the weeks before an election. And Terry is exploiting that rule to the max by snatching up Super Bowl spots in as many states with February or March primaries as he can. He hasn’t met any resistance until now.
NBC Chicago doesn’t dispute that it would have to run Terry’s ad—no matter how gory—if he were a legally qualified candidate. The station just isn’t persuaded that he really is. In a statement, the station explains that it is “in the process of evaluating the materials supplied by the candidate” to determine if he is a “bona fide” candidate. Basically, Terry must do enough old-school campaigning—making speeches, distributing literature, issuing press releases, etc.—to prove that his candidacy is not a stunt. Terry claims he has done so; NBC Chicago isn’t so sure.
While the station says it hasn’t made a final decision, Terry has already filed a complaint with the FCC and says he’ll take legal action if necessary. “The babies murdered under Obama’s policies deserve a voice in the Illinois primary, and we will provide it for them,” he asserts in a press release sent out last Thursday.
Meanwhile, here are some of the cities where viewers can still expect to see one of the ads during the Super Bowl festivities, according to Terry:
During the pre-game show: Eau Claire, Wisconsin; Kansas City, Kansas/Missouri; Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; St. Louis, Missouri; Tulsa, Oklahoma
During the game: Ada, Oklahoma; Grand Junction, Colorado; Joplin, Missouri; Paducah, Kentucky; Springfield, Missouri
To watch Terry’s ad, click here. Warning: It contains extremely graphic images of dead fetuses.