NBC responds to 'abortion' ad controversy

NBC has agreed to air an online trailer that mentions abortion after Planned Parenthood accused the network of censoring the word in its ad content.

The network said late Tuesday that it has no policy against accepting ads that mention abortion and promised to air a commercial for the independent film "Obvious Child" on its digital platforms.

ADVERTISEMENT
"An online ad was submitted for digital placement and feedback was mistakenly given to remove the word 'abortion,' " the network said in a statement Tuesday night.

"That is not company policy and we are currently reviewing our ad standards to ensure they are consistent across all platforms moving forward."

The explanation ends a controversy that sprang to life after Planned Parenthood Action Fund (PPAF) launched a petition urging the network to air the "Obvious Child" ad.

NBC argued the filmmakers had never submitted a final cut of the trailer for broadcast, but the petition continued to gain steam, aided by the Twitter hashtag #StoptheStigma and attention from celebrities like "Girls" star Lena Dunham.

NBC stressed that its broadcast team never gave feedback to remove the word "abortion" from the trailer.

"Ultimately, no final ad was submitted or purchased for television broadcast," the network stated.

The dispute highlighted the controversy that surrounds "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.

The Planned Parenthood petition ultimately received more than 12,500 signatures.

"We applaud NBC Universal for clarifying that ads mentioning abortion are allowed to run and for taking steps to ensure that its policies are followed consistently going forward," said PPAF President Cecile Richards in a statement.

More in Healthcare

CDC: Abortion rates reach 'historic lows'

Read more »