Alliance for Life has written to the Minister of Communications, Marcel Masse, protesting the showing of a pro-abortion episode of a popular TV serial. The Alliance reminded the Minister that in 1984 the CRTC has insisted on such rules as equal time for pro-abortion movies if a pro-life movie were shown; the need to carry a warning of bias, and the rejection of material promoting contempt for identifiable groups. None of these rules were observed in the case of “Cagney and Lacey.”
Wrote Anna Desilets, Executive Director of the Alliance, in a letter dated December 18, 1985:
On November 11, many Canadian television stations aired an episode of CBS Television’s programme “Cagney and Lacey,” entitled “The Clinic.” This was done in spite of objections from pro-life groups in Canada and the U.S. who had previewed the film. Among their objections were the facts that the programme was strongly biased in favor of abortion, and that it promoted contempt for identifiable groups. Pro-life people were portrayed as brainwashed, uneducated, Irish Catholics while persons of a Christian persuasion were made out to be unkind, uncaring religious zealots. It would appear that showing “The Clinic” contravened the Broadcast Act regulations concerning balanced programming and exceed the Charter’s “reasonable limits” imposed on freedom of speech and expression.