Launched March 7, 1983, the Campaign Life produced commercials featuring Dr. Bernard Nathanson, have proven tremendously popular and were devastating to pro-abortion forces who were taken by complete surprise with this new strategy to inform the public.
Within minutes of the first commercials on March 7, around 11:00 a.m, Campaign Life phones were ringing in congratulations.
The commercials sparked media interest and within three days of airing, CBC, both English and French networks, The Winnipeg Free Press, CKY TV in Winnipeg, Global TV and CTV’s Canada AM gave news stories on the commercials and actually showed several of the commercials to illustrate their stories. In interviews with Gwendolyn Landolt, Campaign Life’s Legal Counsel, the full reason for the new media event was revealed. Paraphrasing Mrs. Landolt, the commercials were inspired by Dr. Bernard Nathanson’s open challenge to media at a January news conference, to cover advances in fetology (study of the developing unborn child) and ultrasound technology.
Planners at Campaign Life decided then, that they would have to make the first move in this direction and so proceeded.
Interviewers attempted to link the commercial’s timing with the opening of the Morgentaler abortion mills. But as Mrs. Landolt pointed out to Sheila Manese of the CBC for example, when the commercials were being made no opening date was known and since then no opening date has been met. Campaign Life does not arrange its work according to Morgentaler’s timetable.
Further, the low-key, educational focus on the commercials should more than dispel notions of political “attack” measures. From conception to airtime, these are educational messages, much like Lung Association commercials seen in the United States.
The reaction to the commercials showing developing babies with ultrasound, has been so positive, that Campaign Life is considering further commercials, funds permitting.