FOX Broadcasting and CBS reached new lows of hypocrisy and pandering to the ultra-right on reproductive rights, sex and contraception when they recently refused to air ads for condoms. Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards has offered to educate FOX and CBS about reproductive health. Here’s her letter to FOX, reprinted from www.plannedparenthood.org. In case readers would like to send letters of their own, the FOX address is below. Letters to CBS can be sent to Leslie Moonves, President and CEO, CBS Corporation, 51 W. 52nd St., New York NY 10019-6188.

Mr. Peter Liguori
FOX Broadcasting Company
President of Entertainment
10201 West Pico Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90064-2606

Dear Mr. Liguori,

On behalf of the nearly 5 million women, men and teens who rely on Planned Parenthood’s trusted reproductive health care information and services each year, I’m writing to express serious concern about FOX Broadcasting Company’s refusal to air condom advertisements — and to offer Planned Parenthood’s top medical experts to educate FOX executives, so that you’ll make better, more informed decisions in the future.

According to a FOX spokesperson quoted in the June 18 New York Times, the network rejected the condom ads because “contraceptive advertising must stress health-related uses rather than the prevention of pregnancy.” In fact, preventing unintended pregnancy — and planning and spacing healthy, wanted pregnancies — is a major public health issue and undoubtedly hits home for the majority of your viewers. In the United States, approximately half of all pregnancies are unintended, and teen pregnancy is a national health epidemic. This year, an estimated 750,000 teens will become pregnant and 4 million will contract a sexually transmitted infection.

It’s doubly troubling that FOX refuses to air condom ads, yet routinely broadcasts ads for drugs like Viagra and showcases sex-saturated, primetime programming like “Temptation Island” and “The O.C.,” which included an average of 6.7 sex scenes per hour.

We have encouraged Planned Parenthood’s 4 million supporters to express their concerns to you directly, in hope that you will reverse this decision. And as the nation’s leading advocate and provider of reproductive health care, we offer to educate FOX’s top brass about reproductive health and the basics of preventing unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection. The vast public health benefits of the correct and consistent use of condoms cannot be overstated.

As a major television network, FOX has a responsibility to viewers to provide accurate health information and promote responsible decision making — and should take every opportunity to do more, not less, to help people stay safe and healthy.

Sincerely,
Cecile Richards
President
Planned Parenthood Federation of America

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