Clear Channel Yanks Ads for Women's Health Center

There are a handful of things that make me want to curse like my mother and last week two of them collided.

Let me explain.

Clear Channel, the largest owner of full-power AM and FM radio stations, refused to carry ads for a women’s health-care clinic in Kansas. They called the ads “indecent” and “divisive.”

One look at the ads makes it clear they are neither.

Here’s one ad:

At South Wind Women’s Center, our physicians are committed to providing quality reproductive health care in Wichita. Each physician is board-certified in family medicine or obstetrics in gynecology. Between them, they have over 50 years of experience and dedication, ensuring women are able to ensure the care they need when they need it.

And the other:

South Wind Women’s Center was founded to reestablish full access to reproductive health care. The center provides high-quality medical care and trusts women to make the best decisions for themselves and their families. South Wind Women’s Center: entrusting women with their own medical decision making.

What is divisive is Clear Channel’s move to exploit its control over our airwaves and prevent women from hearing about reproductive health services.

Broadcasters like Clear Channel make billions in profits while using the public airwaves for free. In return, they’re supposed to provide programming that fulfills community needs. But Clear Channel is picking and choosing what communities will hear according to its own selective set of “indecency” standards.

Clear Channel’s empire, and its ability to control a significant portion of what we hear on the radio, grew by leaps and bounds after the passage of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, which relaxed media ownership regulations and made it possible for Clear Channel to buy up radio stations across the country.

A wave of media mergers is currently sweeping the country and if we don’t speak up we will continue to see and hear only what a tiny handful of corporations thinks is appropriate. That’s divisive.

Today we’re standing with our allies at UltraViolet and Women Action & the Media to push back against Clear Channel for blocking women’s access to essential health-care information.

Tell Clear Channel to put South Wind Women’s Center’s ads back on the air.

Original photo by Flickr user Orin Zebest

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good