Project Truth is a pro-life activist ministry dedicated to educating young adults about the truth of abortion through the use of educational displays, literature and conversation. They have been peacefully distributing informative literature to Sacramento and Placer area schools for more than 15 years. As part of their outreach, they stand on the public sidewalks outside of high schools and distribute literature to students passing by.
Telling the truth about abortion tends to attract enemies and Life Legal Defense Foundation has been proud to stand with Project Truth and represent them on an as-needed basis for many years. But the opposition faced by members of Project Truth took a sinister turn on Friday, March 21, 2014 when KOVR News (CBS 13, Sacramento) ran a story that flagrantly misrepresented what it is Project Truth actually does.
In the story, reporter Anjalie Hemphill purports to “get answers.” The camera catches a man wearing a black shirt, dark colored pants and a baseball hat putting a Project Truth leaflet on Larry Blount’s car in his driveway. There’s just one problem with this story: the man depicted in the video is not, and never was, a member of Project Truth. The story goes on to infer that the Project Truth team canvassed the neighborhood and put fliers on vehicles in private driveways. It further suggests that the literature was found torn up and thrown on the ground all throughout the neighborhood. But Project Truth does not leaflet cars. Project Truth held signs and handed out literature on the public sidewalk in front of Cordova High School, as they have done many times. They distributed literature directly to students who willingly accepted them when politely offered. Project participants have a regular practice of picking up any discarded brochures before leaving a school area. On the day in question, approximately 200 brochures were given to students and only two brochures were picked up from the ground.
In the KOVR story, the individuals interviewed by Ms. Hemphill said they were concerned about the students’ exposure to and reactions to the literature handed out by Project Truth, suggesting that the subject of abortion is a private matter that should only be discussed in a family setting. But the story failed to point out the fact that California high school students may be transported off school property to obtain an abortion without ever notifying a family member. This being the case, abortion and its impact are hardly a mere private matter.
Following the online publication of the story, the public comment section of the KOVR website began to see threats of violence and vitriolic attacks directed at Project Truth.
On April 3, 2014, Allison Aranda, senior staff counsel with Life Legal Defense Foundation sent a letter to KOVR News (CBS 13, Sacramento) demanding that the false, defamatory story be publically corrected. Life Legal Defense Foundation is representing Project Truth free of charge in this matter and seeks to obtain an apology from KOVR News. The letter also sought a follow-up story to correct the inaccuracies and falsehoods and a public denunciation of the violence and threats issued through the public comments to KOVR’s website.