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Letter to CBS President and CEO Mr. Leslie Moonves
June 26, 2007
Mr. Leslie Moonves
President and CEO
51 West 52nd Street
New York, New York 10019-6188
Dear Mr. Moonves,
On behalf of the nearly five million women, men and teens who rely on Planned Parenthood’s trusted reproductive health care information and services each year, I’m writing to express serious concern about CBS’ refusal to broadcast condom advertisements — and to offer Planned Parenthood’s medical experts to educate CBS executives so that you’ll make better, more informed decisions in the future.
According to a CBS spokesperson quoted in the June 18 New York Times, the network rejected the condom ads because they are not “appropriate for our network even with late-night-only restrictions.” Such declarations ring hollow from the network that broadcast the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show to a primetime audience of millions.
Preventing unintended pregnancy — and planning and spacing healthy, wanted pregnancies — is a major public health issue and undoubtedly hits home for the majority of your viewers. In the United States, approximately half of all pregnancies are unintended, and teen pregnancy is a national health epidemic. This year, an estimated 750,000 teens will become pregnant and four million will contract a sexually transmitted infection.
We have encouraged Planned Parenthood’s four million supporters to express their concerns to you directly, in hope that you will reverse this decision. And as the nation’s leading advocate of reproductive health care information and services, we offer to educate CBS’ top brass about reproductive health and the basics of preventing unintended pregnancy and sexually-transmitted infection. The vast public health benefits of the correct and consistent use of condoms cannot be overstated.
As a major television network, CBS has a responsibility to viewers to provide accurate health information and promote responsible decision making — and should take every opportunity to do more, not less, to help people stay safe and healthy.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America