WOMEN WHO HAVE abortions have a higher risk of breast cancer; carrying a pregnancy to term is a good way to deal with an incestuous relationship; and "childbirth is the choice of triumph over rape." Those are among the claims in a 12-page supplement a group called the Human Life Alliance of Minnesota (HLAM) has been paying to insert in newspapers statewide and around the country. Alliance president Marlene Reid says over the past two years, the group has advertised in the Star Tribune, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Duluth News-Tribune, and student newspapers in Mankato, Rochester, and Winona. But it wasn't until the ad hit Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, that it sparked a minor firestorm.
An article last week in the local alternative weekly, the Dayton Voice, slammed the insert's "misinformation" and quoted a pregnant student who called one of the crisis hotlines listed in the insert. According to the paper, the student was told that having an abortion would cause her to miscarry in the future and would diminish her sex drive. If she kept the baby, however, it would increase her chances of holding on to her boyfriend.
It was that article that apparently attracted Reid's ire. In a letter to the Voice's editor, she attacked the newspaper for "perpetuating [the student's] slanderous charges" and accused it of copyright infringement for printing a picture of the brochure's cover. Reid says her group is contemplating legal action, but is waiting for more advice from its lawyers.