Monday 27 July 2009

Cameron says government responsible for quangos' actions

The battle continues over abortion advertising on TV and radio. The Advertising Standards Authority's public consultation is closed, but Ofcom, the statutory regulator for broadcasting, makes the final decision – or does it?
In another context, David Cameron, the Conservative leader (who’s no friend of the pro-life movement), says that Ofcom “shouldn’t be making policy”. He adds:
"Too many state actions, services and decisions are carried out by people who cannot be voted out by the public, by organisations that feel no pressure to answer for what happens – in a way that is completely unaccountable.”
Mr Cameron concludes:
“Even when power is delegated to a quango, the minister remains responsible for the outcome.”
In other words, according to David Cameron’s theory, the government will be responsible if Ofcom authorises abortion agencies to advertise on radio and TV. Lord Carter, the Government’s broadcasting minister, in a letter received by an SPUC supporter, has written in a way that seems sympathetic to abortion advertising on the broadcast media.

SPUC is non party-political and no-one knows where the Tories or other parties stand on this issue, the outcome of which will have a profound impact on the welfare of women and on unborn children. Let’s not forget:
  • The Advertising Standards Authority’s proposal threatens to further commercialise the killing of unborn children.
  • It would completely disregard the adverse effect of abortion on women's health.
  • Abortion 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 sufficient 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.
  • The 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 the harm to all involved.
Please join me in writing now to our MPs, to the prime minister and to party political leaders to oppose lifting the ban on abortion agencies advertising through the broadcast media. You can email your MP from here and contact Mr Brown here. SPUC's submission on the proposed changes in relation to abortion is here.

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