Reuters, May 9, 2007
NEW YORK - JUNE 19 - In response to news reports today that the FOX and CBS television networks have refused to broadcast condom advertisements, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), the nations leading reproductive health care advocate and provider, is calling on FOX, CBS and the other major networks to use their influence to promote responsible decision making, like using condoms to prevent unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Planned Parenthood is mobilizing activists nationwide to write to FOX and CBS demanding air time for messages that educate the public about safer sex and responsible choices.
For years, FOX and CBS have been taking sex to the bank. They have a responsibility to promote good public health practices, including using condoms to prevent unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, PPFA President Cecile Richards said. It is the height of hypocrisy that FOX and CBS broadcast sex-saturated programming, but refuse to show condom ads.
Television today is dominated by sexual content. In 2005, 70 percent of all
shows and 77 percent of prime-time shows contained sexual content. FOX and CBS
shows are no exception. Over the past several years, FOX has aired shows like
Temptation Island, Paradise Hotel and The O.C. a teen-targeted show that
broadcast an average of 6.7 sex scenes an hour. The CBS network aired the Victorias
Secret Fashion Show.
In today's New York Times, a FOX Television spokesperson claimed the network's decision was based on its belief that condom ads "must stress health-related issues rather than the prevention of pregnancy." Contrary to such claims, preventing unintended pregnancy is a major public health issue. Approximately half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended. This year, more than 750,000 teens will become pregnant and four million will contract a sexually transmitted infection.
When it comes to public health and preventing unintended pregnancy, major networks like FOX and CBS should be leading the charge to promote healthy behavior, added Richards. As the leading provider of reproductive health care, Planned Parenthood knows that, for sexually active people, condoms are the best way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.
For sexually active people, condoms are an affordable birth control option,
providing significant protection against unintended pregnancy. They also offer
the best risk reduction for sexually transmitted infections among sexually active
women and men.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America is the nation's leading sexual and reproductive health care advocate and provider. We believe that everyone has the right to choose when or whether to have a child, and that every child should be wanted and loved. Planned Parenthood affiliates operate more than 860 health centers nationwide, providing medical services and sexuality education for millions of women, men, and teenagers each year. We also work with allies worldwide to ensure that all women and men have the right and the means to meet their sexual and reproductive health care needs.
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