This could very well be the year of the Super Bowl ad few of us wanted to see.
Angela Michael is an anti-abortion activist, a grandmother and a candidate for Congress in the 15th District, which includes parts of Madison County in Illinois.
Michael told me Friday she has purchased a 30-second TV ad slated to run at about 3 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday on KSDK-TV, which reaches the entire St. Louis metro area.
Michael’s ad is not your typical Super Bowl ad. This is not Danica Patrick in 4 1/2-inch stilettos touting GoDaddy.
Michael’s ad is grisly. It shows the remains of aborted fetuses.
She is trying to quickly raise another $8,000 to purchase a 30-second slot closer to the 5:30 p.m. kick off.
“People will actually see what we allow to happen to innocent babies and to women,” Michael says.
What do I mean by “grisly”? Go to www.angelamichaelforcongress.com and see for yourself. Be prepared, the video is graphic.
Will this really run on Super Bowl Sunday?
Yes, says Michael. It’s a done deal. She and her husband have the receipt for the $1,800 they paid.
I’ve left messages over three days with Lynn Beall, president and general manager of KSDK-TV. She has not called me back.
Michael is one of a handful of hard-core abortion opponents across the nation who were encouraged to run for Congress by Randall Terry, a long-time abortion foe who founded Operation Rescue. Terry happens to be running for president.
Michael is well known in Granite City, where for 20 years she has been protesting and trying to counsel women as they enter the Hope Clinic for Women, where abortions are performed.
Michael operates Small Victories, a nonprofit that assists women who choose to give birth. It provides counseling, medical assistance and helps with rent payments.
Michael and her husband, Daniel, have adopted two babies in recent years. They say they first talked the mothers out of having abortions. The Michaels have 13 children, ages 1 to 29.
Michael has been criticized for taking photos of women entering the Granite City clinic and posting their photos on a website.
What Randall Terry realized is that federal courts have ruled that TV stations, which are licensed by the Federal Communications Commission, must air the campaign ads of candidates for federal office. This does not apply to state or local candidates.
The one thing TV stations can do is run an advisory or warning prior to such ads.
Michael, in her 50s, was once an obstetrics nurse. She lives in Highland, Ill., and is unopposed in the March 20 Democratic primary. Terry also is running as a Democrat.
Michael’s opponent is incumbent John Shimkus, a Republican who is also anti-abortion. He, too, is unopposed in the primary.
Shimkus has about $1.3 million in his campaign war chest and Michael has about $4,000. Realistically, she has little chance of unseating him.
She tells me her goal is not to shock people on Super Bowl Sunday. Instead, she wants to create a “crisis of conscience” in the same way that newsreels showing the bodies of slaughtered Jews revealed the horrors of the Holocaust.
“What I’m trying to do is make history,” she says. “This Sunday will be 39 years that we have allowed this.”
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the legal right to abortion on Jan. 22, 1973, in the Roe v. Wade case.
“The battle has to be brought into the streets for the people to see it,” she says.
Michael has been in the streets for many years. In 2006, Michael sued Granite City Mayor Ed Hagnauer and Police Chief Richard Miller. She alleged that she and her daughter were harassed and roughed up by two other spectators at a parade and that police did little to protect them and did not charge anyone.
The incident was on Nov. 19, 2005. Michael and others were hoisting large graphic signs of aborted fetuses during the annual Santa Claus parade.
“They wanted to enjoy the day and celebrate children, and I was asking: What about the children one block away who were being slaughtered?” Michael says.
Hagnauer told me he spoke to Michael the day of the parade and said, “‘Listen, we got some kids involved. The graphic signs, could you turn them around?’ We thought they were going to do that but they didn’t.”
Michael says she originally entered the Congressional race based on one issue — abortion. But now that she is “meeting people and kissing babies” she has greater interest in being a well-rounded candidate.
The reason she decided to make her first run for office is because she was about to leave the pro-life movement in despair.
“The movement is not moving,” she says. “It is a pro-loafing movement.”
Many of those in the anti-abortion movement are more concerned with fundraising than ending abortion, she says.