In making a decision to withdraw its financial support from WUNC-FM, Ipas has made a move that harms both the Chapel Hill-based international women's heath group and the radio station.
WUNC has lost the backing of one of its sponsors, and Ipas has abandoned a valuable medium through which it could advertise its services to a needy public.
Ipas canceled its sponsorship of WUNC after the station eliminated the term "reproductive rights" from an underwriting announcement.
But station officials did not act out of malice when they made their choice to restrict Ipas to saying "reproductive health" in the announcement. The decision of the station was not about restricting free speech - rather, it was about abiding by the law. Public radio stations cannot advocate any particular side of a political, social or religious debate in on-air announcements, and WUNC had to act in accordance with its Federal Communication Commission license.
If the station hadn't taken action, listeners interpreting the mention of "reproductive rights" as an endorsement of abortion rights might have complained. WUNC potentially could have faced a fine imposed by the federal agency.