Indecent for Radio? Change the (Clear) Channel!

15165_235962473195371_137974567_nWhen the South Wind Women’s Center (SWWC) opened its doors in April, it became the first clinic to offer abortions in Wichita since Dr. George Tiller’s  murder four years ago. One of only three abortion clinics in Kansas, it’s also one of only three health clinics in Wichita to offer subsidized birth-control for low-income individuals.

As if the threats to the center by anti-abortion picketers and legislation wasn’t enough, conservative media giant Clear Channel has joined the ranks of those who would stifle access to comprehensive women’s healthcare services. Clear Channel pulled two South Wind advertisements that were going to run on local Wichita radio stations.

Their motivation? Advertising where to access reproductive care is considered a violation of the company’s ‘decency standards’.

Here’s the first SWWC ad:

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

And the second:

South Wind Women’s Center was founded to reestablish access to full-spectrum reproductive healthcare. 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.

Indecent? Clear Channel’s standards seem to be less about decency and more about  conservative politics: Clear Channel still loyally stands behind and airs the notoriously inflammatory radio shows hosted by Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.

But women (and men) aren’t going to take this silencing of South Wind’s ads without making a lot of noise about it. Women, Action & Media (WAM!) is calling on those who support access to safe and legal reproductive healthcare to join their #changethechannel campaign, based on the premise that “women’s health is never indecent and everyone has the right to know where they can get medical care.”


WAM! executive director Jaclyn Friedman has criticized Clear Channel for setting a precedent that private corporate interests override a woman’s right to access life-saving information:

At a time when access to reproductive health services, including but not limited to abortion, is under ever-increasing attack by politicians and anti-choice extremist groups alike, it’s ever more critical that women learn about the services that are still available to them … If we let this stand in Wichita, what city will be next? We have to take action now.

WAM!’s campaign includes an online petition, and urges supporters to demand over Twitter, Facebook, email and phone that Clear Channel run the SWWC ads. Join in!

And don’t miss the feature article on South Wind Women’s Center in the upcoming issue of Ms. magazine, available in print or on your mobile devices!

Top photo from the South Wind Women’s Center Facebook page; infographic from WAM!’s #changethechannel campaign.


  1. Eli Wolfe says:

    Clear Channel’s decision is outrageous, I’m surprised this hasn’t been picked up by more news outlets. Good work Jenny!

  2. It looks to me like Clear Channel is run by a bunch of Anthony Comstock wannabes! I’m all for raising voices and making noise, especially when that noise focuses on anti-choice extremists who are determined to take women back to the dark ages.

  3. Dawn MxcInnes says:

    For men who regard women as domestic slaves and sexual conveniences the place for women is in the dark ages. So much more convenient for the guys!

  4. Samantha Hill says:

    We could try going after their FCC license as well.

  5. Clear Channel have been known as right-wing reactionaries for years. In one of their more insidious stunts, after 9-11, they put out a ‘hit list’ of songs they wanted their stations to not play. One could see some logic in such songs as “Leaving On Jet Plane” (as if Clear Channel stations were actually playing Peter, Paul & Mary or John Denver!), “Great Balls Of Fire”, or a song called “Crash and Burn”.

    But they also banned some that make very little or no sense at all: Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World”, Sam Cooke’s “Wonderful World”, Petula Clark’s “A Sign of the Times” (again, like CC stations were playing that!), and Jimi Hendrix’ “Hey Joe” – a man guns down a woman in the song, but what does that have to do with 9-11? They didn’t ask for Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” with the line “I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die” to not be played, and some of CC’s stations were/are country stations (it’s notable that no country songs were on the list, by the way).

    But some were banned for clearly political reasons: John Lennon’s “Imagine” (presumably for the lyrics “Imagine there’s no religion” and “Nothing to kill or die for”, and the songs “Peace Train” and “Morning Has Broken” by Cat Stevens, a Muslim, although a Christian when he wrote/performed the songs. And actually “Morning Has Broken” was a popular and well-known Christian hymn first published in 1931 with words by English author Eleanor Farjeon (not Stevens!).

    What Clear Channel is doing now is just par for the course…

    For more info, check out the list (and some interesting comments) at…

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