Planned Parenthood Wis. Declines To Remove Ad Targeting State Senate President

September 10, 2013 — Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin slightly changed an advertisement targeting state Senate President Mike Ellis (R) after the state's public affairs television channel said the group improperly used its content, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

The ad -- released last week -- shows Ellis banging his gavel and ordering Democrats to sit down during a Senate floor debate over a bill (SB 206) requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at hospitals. The bill ultimately passed, but a federal judge has blocked it over concerns that the law could be unconstitutional (Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9/5).

The WisconsinEye Public Affairs Network sent a letter to PPAWI demanding that the ad be removed because the group violates a user agreement that prohibits political or commercial use of the network's content (Spicuzza, Wisconsin State Journal, 9/6).

In response, PPAWI replaced the footage from WisconsinEye with recordings of the same proceedings from a different source.

Susan Crawford, an attorney for the group, on Wednesday sent a letter to WisconsinEye President and CEO Jon Henkes defending the original ad. She wrote that the user agreement states that it is not intended to diminish users' "fair use" rights to the material and that PPAWI had the ability to use the material as it did. She also noted that the organization changed the ad after WisconsinEye's objections (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9/5).

On Thursday, Henkes said in a statement, "We are extremely disappointed with Planned Parenthood's actions and response," adding that WisconsinEye is working with "legal counsel and legislative representatives" to consider its next steps (Wisconsin State Journal, 9/6).