By Elise Viebeck - 06/22/14 06:00 AM EDT
The political arm of Planned Parenthood is accusing NBC of making an “outrageous” decision to turn away an ad that mentions abortion.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund said the broadcaster "belongs in another decade" for allegedly refusing to air an ad for the independent film "Obvious Child" that mentions "abortion." NBC denies the charge.
"It’s far past time that we had an honest conversation around the lack of honest portrayals of women’s lives in film and media."
Richards said her group has reached out directly to NBC executives to discuss the matter.
NBC said the Planned Parenthood group has its facts wrong.
“No final spots were submitted to NBC broadcast standards for on-air consideration and NBC Broadcast Advertising Sales was never contacted about a media buy on NBC for spots related to this movie," said a spokeswoman for NBCUniversal.
"Moreover, initial feedback from our broadcast standards group did not include any suggestion to remove a specific word."
The dispute highlights the growing controversy over "Obvious Child," a comedy film that portrays a young woman's decision to have an abortion after becoming pregnant from a one-night stand.
The film received mostly positive reviews from critics, with some calling it "groundbreaking," but has been denounced by opponents of abortion rights.
In the conservative National Review, contributor Jillian Kay Melchior wrote that the film's female director "does no favor to women by making such a difficult physical and metaphysical decision in a cheap joke."
"In trivializing abortion so radically, she infantilizes women and undermines the feminism she purports to endorse," Melchior wrote.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund also accused NBC of editing out a joke that referred to abortion in its show "Last Comic Standing." Full footage of the joke revealed that the edited word was referring to oral sex, not abortion.