Verizon Bans Abortion Rights Text Service

Executives invoke right to block 'controversial or unsavory' messages
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 27, 2007 4:18 AM CDT
Verizon Bans Abortion Rights Text Service
Buildings on Market Street are seen reflected in a Verizon sign in Philadelphia, in this April 30, 2007 file photo. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, file)   (Associated Press)

Verizon Wireless has rejected a bid from an abortion rights organization to establish a text-message information system for supporters who sign up for the service.
Verizon invoked its right to block "controversial or unsavory" messages in refusing the program by Naral Pro-Choice America, reports the New York Times. Verizon's competitors are allowing the service.

“No company should be allowed to censor the message people have asked us to send,” said Naral's president. Verizon officials said no program "that seeks to promote an agenda" would be accepted. Laws that forbid common carriers from interfering with voice calls don't apply to text. “The fact that wireless companies can choose to discriminate is very troubling," said a law professor. (More abortion rights stories.)

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