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Congressional Candidate’s TV Ads To Show Dead Fetuses

April 20, 1992

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ A television station says it will reluctantly begin broadcasting campaign commercials Monday that show graphic photos of dead fetuses.

The ads are for Michael E. Bailey, who is seeking the Republican primary nomination for the 9th District congressional seat held by Democrat Lee Hamilton. The primary is May 5.

Bailey said the ads show pictures of fetuses he claims were taken from an abortion clinic’s trash bin. They will run 14 times this week on Indianapolis station WISH-TV.

Paul Karpowicz, station president and general manager, said the 30-second spots are ″really not suitable for television″ but that his station had no choice but to broadcast them.

Videotapes of the ads were sent to the station’s Washington attorneys for an opinion from the Federal Communications Commission, he said.

″The response that came back is yes, you do (have to run the ads),″ Karpowicz said. ″Had he not been a federal candidate, we would not have accepted the spot. If we had any recourse, we would not run it.″

He said the station would run disclaimers before and after the ads noting that they contain material that some viewers may find objectionable.

In one of the ads, Bailey says the content is not suitable for small children, but that abortion is not suitable for the United States. That is followed by 15 seconds of pictures of dead fetuses.

Another ad begins with a picture of live babies, then switches to aborted fetuses. Bailey’s voice says, ″If something is so horrifying we can’t stand to look at it, why are we tolerating it?″

Bailey, an advertising promoter, said he paid for the ads with $15,000 of the $23,000 in campaign funds he has raised.

Television stations in Louisville, Ky., also are carrying the ads. The 9th District covers some 20 counties in southeast Indiana, including many along the Ohio River, which divides Indiana and Kentucky.

″Regardless of which side of the issue you’re on, the method he has used to convey his message is so graphic and gut-wrenching, I think it distorts the message,″ Karpowicz said.

Charles D. Loos, the only other GOP candidate in the primary, said he is not concerned with the attention Bailey is receiving.

″He’s running his campaign and I’m running mine,″ said Loos, a retired U.S. marshal, who opposes abortion, except in cases involving rape, incest or if a woman’s life is in danger.