Thursday 18 June 2009

SPUC's submission on TV abortion ads

SPUC has published its submission to the public consultation about allowing abortion agencies to advertise on television and radio. You can read SPUC's submission in full here, but below are are selection of points SPUC has made objecting to the proposal.
  • "It is likely, in our view, that the public will be exposed directly to television and radio advertising which promotes abortion services.
  • Both of the proposals relating to abortion advertising (permitting it on broadcast media, and imposing a special requirement on non-abortion providers) amount to unfair commercial practices. Promoting abortion providers is exploitative of several vulnerable groups: expectant mothers, women who are uncertain whether they are pregnant, unborn children and particularly unborn children with disabilities.
  • Abortion also remains a criminal offence on the statute book. Advertising of illegal procedures is contrary to the public interest, advertising codes, and the law.
  • Only those agencies with the financial resources would be able to advertise. Abortion providers can generate financial resources for advertising by charging more for abortions, whereas most pro-life advice services do not charge clients (or the NHS) for their services. Thus there will be a disproportionate opportunity for abortion providers to advance their cause.
  • Advertising has the power to be subtly constructed so as to direct vulnerable women to these agencies where abortion may be promoted as the “best option”.
  • Advertising should not be misleading, harmful or offensive.
  • Abortion causes immense harm.
  • Such advertisements by their nature would be objectively offensive to moral and religious principles.
  • The highly contentious nature of abortion and its deep moral significance would suggest that minors not be subject to its promotion via advertising, which would undoubtedly occur if this proposal were permitted.
  • Family planning centres and pregnancy advice agencies which refer women for abortion but offer no alternatives, are not required to mention the limits of their services.
  • The strongly predominant wish in the community is for the numbers of abortions to decrease, not increase. However, advertising of abortion services would promote abortion, increase its incidence and thereby increase harm to all involved."
Tomorrow SPUC supporters will be holding a sponsored vigil outside the offices of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).