PRESS RELEASE from the James Madison Center for Free Speech

December 1, 2008
Contact: James Bopp, Jr.

NRLC Seeks FEC Approval to Reimburse Its PAC for Belatedly-Approved Ad
Today, the National Right to Life Committee asked the Federal Election Commission to approve reimbursement to NRLC’s PAC for broadcasting an ad ("Ad") that the FEC has belatedly said NRLC itself could have run.
The Ad was about a public debate before the election with then-candidate Obama over who was telling the truth about his voting record in Illinois on an abortion-related issue of concern to NRLC. Obama had publicly said that the NRLC had "lied" about his record, and NRLC wanted to run radio ads defending itself and asking Obama to apologize for this statement. Since the Ad would be an "electioneering communication," which NRLC could be potentially prohibited from making, NRLC submitted an advisory opinion request (AOR 2008-15) before the election asking the FEC to say whether NRLC could broadcast the Ad.
The request was sent to the FEC on September 26, 2008, and NRLC asked the FEC to respond within 20 days, in a special expedited procedure available, however, only to federal candidates. The FEC, however,  did not initially consider the matter until its October 23rd meeting, where at least four of the six FEC commissioners (the number required to issue an opinion) thought that at least one version of the Ad could be broadcast by NRLC. But instead of issuing an advisory opinion approving that version of the Ad at that meeting, the FEC adjourned the meeting and didn’t issue an advisory opinion approving the Ad until November 24. As a result, the ad was broadcast by NRLC’s PAC, at an expense of about $69,000 in hard-to-get PAC funds. However, since NRLC was entitled to run the Ad all along, and would have done so but for the FEC’s inexplicable delay in issuing it advisory opinion, NRLC believes that it is entitled to reimburse its PAC for broadcasting the Ad. NRLC has today filed an advisory opinion requesting permission to do so.
James Bopp, Jr., general counsel for NRLC, makes the following statement concerning the case: "The FEC’s delay in approving an ad that four Commissioners believed was permissible is baffling. The FEC seems to forget that it is dealing with precious First Amendment rights. Justice requires that at least NRLC be able to reimburse its PAC for running an ad that NRLC had a right to run all along."
The first advisory opinion request (along with related documents) is available at, and the second request should be posted soon.

from National Right to Life Communications

October 10, 2008 


National Right to Life PAC ad rejected for being “too political”


WASHINGTON – Today, National Right to Life received notice from ABC Radio Network that it would not air National Right to Life’s ad entitled “Waiting for Obama’s Apology,” during Sean Hannity’s radio program.   In an email to National Right to Life, ABC Radio Network executives claimed the ad, “while supporting aspects of a Pro-Life position, weighs more heavily toward electioneering.”  The ad, the text of which appears below, was to be paid for by National Right to Life Political Action Committee (NRL PAC), which is allowed to do “electioneering” under federal law.


“ABC’s rejection smacks of being a politically motivated gag order,” said Derrick Jones, NRLC Communications Director.  “It seems that the pro-Obama leanings of the mainstream media have overflowed into their sales departments as well.  To reject a political action committee’s ad because they think it is too political, borders on the absurd.”


The ad focuses on NRL’s role in revealing that Obama had for four years misrepresented his record on the Illinois Born-Alive Infants Protection Act (BAIPA).


“Four years ago, NRL PAC ran electioneering ads supporting George W. Bush.  ABC’s lame excuse this year fails to hide their true motivation of helping Barack Obama conceal his extreme pro-abortion position from the American public,” Jones added.


On August 11, NRLC released recently uncovered documents proving that Obama in 2003 had presided over a committee meeting at which he killed a version of the BAIPA that was virtually identical to the federal BAIPA that Congress had enacted, without a dissenting vote, in 2002.  This contradicted four years of statements by Obama on the matter.  When Obama was asked about NRLC’s charges in a televised interview on August 16, he said that NRLC was “lying.”  Independent investigations by and have since concluded that NRLC’s claim was accurate and that Obama’s denial was not.  The ad refused by ABC quotes the conclusion that “Obama is misrepresenting the contents of” the bill that he killed.


“The ABC gag rule is part of a broader pattern of behavior in which the mainstream news media filter out or distort the extremes of Obama’s pro-abortion record, including his actions to block legislation to protect infants born alive following abortions in Illinois, his commitment to enact the so-called “Freedom of Choice Act,” which would make partial-birth abortion legal again and nullify all parental notification laws, and his support for requiring taxpayer funding of abortion,” said NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson, author of an article on the Obama abortion agenda published this week by National Review Online and posted at


The ad is currently posted as a web ad on National Right to Life PAC’s YouTube channel at  The text of the ad is below.

“Waiting for Obama’s Apology”

Male:            The following is paid for by National Right to Life PAC at  Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee, NRLPAC is responsible for the content of this advertising.

Female 1:     In August, National Right to Life released documents proving that in 2003, Barack Obama was responsible for killing a bill to provide care and protection for babies who are born alive after abortions, and that he later misrepresented the bill’s content.

Male:            When Obama was asked about National Right to Life’s charges in a televised interview, he replied:  (quote)  “…I hate to say that people are lying, but here’s a situation where folks are lying.”

Female 1:     We challenged Obama to admit that the documents are genuine, and admit to his previous misrepresentations.  FactCheck[dot]org then investigated, and concluded:

Female 2:     (clinical, detached tone):  “Obama’s claim is wrong . . .  The documents . . . support the group’s claims that Obama is misrepresenting the contents of [Senate Bill] 1082.”

Female 1:     Was Obama afraid that the public would learn about his extreme position —  that he opposed merely defining every baby born alive after an abortion as deserving of protection?

Will Obama now apologize for calling us liars when we were the ones telling the truth?

Barack Obama: a candidate whose word you can’t believe in.

Additional Resources:
August 18, 2008  NRLC White Paper: Obama Cover-up on Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Continues to Unravel After Sen. Obama Says NRLC is “Lying”


“Unholy Messaging” by Douglas Johnson (National Review Online article) posted at