Ann gives an interview to Kelsey Kilpatrick outside an abortion facility [Photo by John Jansen]
The Pro-Life Action League has long been a magnet for the media, but one never knows what particular subject might pique their curiosity. Sometimes we send out a press release on an issue we think is highly important—like filing a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court for the third time!—and discover there is virtually no interest. Then we will get a call from a media outlet asking for a statement of position on “emergency contraception” or embryonic stem cell research and it will provoke a flurry of interest.
Relevant Radio takes an active interest in what is current in the pro-life movement, regardless of the secular media’s level of interest. In February Joe Scheidler was featured on Al Kresta’s show and on the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Relevant Radio segment, discussing the developments in the NOW v. Scheidler case.
Fox News turned to Joe for the pro-life take on the question of what to do about frozen embryos, after a couple sued an fertility lab for accidentally destroying their children when the lab discarded their stored frozen embryos.
League Contributes to Stem Cell Debate
Frozen embryos are often brought into the discussion of research on embryonic stem cells, another topic that brings reporters to the League for statements and background information. Joe Scheidler appeared on a segment of Court TV on just that topic.
On February 24 Ann Scheidler was invited to a panel discussion on embryonic stem cell research on the Newsmakers program hosted by Jerry Rose on Total Living Network, along with Dr. Lauri Zoloth, a philosophy professor from Northwestern University, Dr. Dan Peterson, a researcher from Chicago Medical College and Paige Cunningham from the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity.
Christian and secular media focused their attention on the Terri Schiavo crisis during most of March, and both Joe and Ann Scheidler were interviewed several times by print media reporters and radio talk show hosts. Joe was on Relevant Radio’s Drew Mariani Show on March 18 and again March 21, and on a panel on Total Living Network’s Newsmakers on March 24. On the Newsmakers panel with Joe were journalist Lindsey O’Connor, Mark Epstein, an attorney specializing in mental health and elder care, Carla Sauer Iyer, a former nurse for Terri Schiavo, and Dr. Joseua Hauser of Northwestern University.
Reproductive Issues Spark Media Calls
Ann Scheidler fielded a call from Fox News Online on the new concept of “delayed fertility” being marketed by a woman who is setting up clinics around the country for women to harvest “young” eggs and freeze them for later use. The “apology” for this technique is to preserve fertility for women who must undergo radiation or chemotherapy but hope to have children once they are healthy. But the more common use of the egg harvesting procedure is to defy the natural reduction in fertility as a woman ages. Once the Fox News Online article was published, Ann received several calls from other media outlets on the same subject.
The controversy over whether Plan B, the “emergency contraception” pill, should be available over the counter brought inquiries from several reporters, most of whom are incredulous that anyone would oppose making massive doses of artificial hormones available to anyone, including teens, without a prescription.
Press Coverage of Truth Tours
In June, Steve Peroutka of Baltimore, MD, host of the Face the Truth radio program, interviewed Joe Scheidler for several segments of his program, including the Face the Truth tours in both Maryland and Chicago. Several members of the League staff were interviewed by newspaper reporters over the course of the summer Face the Truth tour in July.
Al Kresta, broadcasting from the Fairmont Hotel at the Catholic Bishops Conference in Chicago, again interviewed Joe Scheidler on the highlights of the Pro-Life Action League’s twenty-five years of activism.
The League was consulted by several reporters for reaction to President Bush’s nomination of Judge John G. Roberts for Supreme Court justice, in light of the fact that the League would once again be before the High Court in November.