Wednesday 26 August 2009

Launch of new petition against abortion adverts on TV

The Committee on Advertising Practice, which is responsible for the Advertising Standards Authority's code of practice, wants to permit abortion agencies to advertise in the broadcast media. A public consultation has been held, but the final decision on the code will rest with Ofcom, a gov­ernment quango responsible for regulating broad­cast­ing. Lifting the ban would have a profound impact on the welfare of women and on unborn children, and SPUC is laun­ching a petition to the prime minister. Here are the main reasons why SPUC is fighting against a change in the advertising code:

  • The proposals threaten to further com­mercialise the killing of unborn children.
  • It could suggest that there were no seri­ous adverse effect of abortion on women's phys­ical and mental 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. Most pro-life advice services charge nothing. Thus there will be a dispro­portion­ate opportunity for abor­tion provid­ers to advance their cause.
  • Most people want the numbers of abor­tions to decrease, not increase. However, adverts for abortion ser­vices would pro­mote abortion, and thereby increase its incidence.

The indications are that overturning the ban would be unpopular among large sections of the public. The prime minister will shortly go to the country to seek election. Our petition provides an impor­tant opportunity to demon­strate to him the strength of public feeling against such a change to advertising regula­tion. Please do all you can to gather signatures at churches, on the high street, at retail parks and at popular bus and train stations. The more signatures we gather, the greater are our chances of stopping this dreadful proposal.

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