The Alligator would like to formally address its denial of an abortion pill through mail advertisement from MayDay Health that circulated social media over the last 24 hours.
General manager Shaun O’Connor made this decision without consulting the editorial board. He is in charge of advertising for The Alligator and denied the advertisement after talks with three lawyers from our legal team. The paper is allowed to approve or deny any advertisement.
The Alligator could have faced legal repercussions if it ran this advertisement. Florida statute 797.02 states knowingly advertising, publishing or distributing materials that provide information about obtaining substances or assistance for inducing a miscarriage can result in a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida.
While we support fair reporting and pride ourselves on informing the public, an advertisement is not an article. The editorial board will personally be reaching out to interview all parties involved to address and explain what occurred.
The Alligator has a deep-rooted history of fighting for abortion rights. When the U.S. Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade last June, The Alligator took on one of its biggest projects yet to highlight a range of people’s perspectives on the issue.
The Alligator’s independence is rooted in providing information about abortion.
Before Roe v. Wade confirmed the legality of abortion and over 50 years ago, the then Alligator’s editor-in-chief Ron Sachs and his staff distributed 22,000 lists of abortion clinics against UF’s wishes and violated the 1868 Florida abortion law. He was arrested and jailed.
After MayDay shared its disapproval with our advertising team, hundreds of its followers took to Instagram to voice their concerns, without hearing our side and potential legal issues first.
We value all viewpoints and ensure our reporting reflects this. We recognize the importance of educating the public about abortion access, as it is health care.
The Editorial Board consists of Editor-in-Chief Isabella Douglas, Engagement Managing Editor Claire Grunewald, Digital Managing Editor Emma Behrmann and Opinions Editor Peyton Harris.