Britain May Allow Abortion Advertising on Radio, Television, For the First Time

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 26, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Britain May Allow Abortion Advertising on Radio, Television, For the First Time

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 26
, 2009

London, England (LifeNews.com) — Under a new proposal, television viewers and radio listeners could be subjected to ads for the first time advertising abortions. The Committee of Advertising Practice and the Broadcast Committee on Advertising Practice are behind the potential rules changes that could take effect next year.

Pro-life groups are opposed to the idea, which would also allow ads from pregnancy centers but with restrictions.

“We feel this is a wholly damaging proposal," Paul Tully, general secretary of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, says. “It will work against the long-term health of women.”

The proposal says pregnancy centers can advertise but only if their ad “makes clear whether the service refers women for abortion,” because “for those women who opt for it, delay in performing an abortion could result in medical complications.”

The new advertising rules could pave the way for Marie Stopes International, the large British-based abortion business, to begin television advertisements promoting abortions.

MSI spokeswoman Emily James confirmed the abortion business would be interested in advertising, saying, “It isn’t about promotion, it’s about raising people’s awareness."

Without the television and radio commercials, MSI relies on magazines, taxi and bus ads, and advertising through alternatives newspapers.

The Advertising Standards Authority, which administers the advertising rules, is allowing public comment on the proposals through June 19.

The authority told the Independent that it didn’t think abortion ads would wind up airing.

"The proposed rule on pregnancy advisory services would, in theory, allow abortion clinics to advertise," a representative said. "However, as this service is normally accessed via a referral from a GP or hospital, it is unlikely that we are going to start seeing ads for them."

The agencies say they are responding to news that British teenage pregnancy rates are on the rise. As such, they also plan to relax rules against showing advertising for condoms before the current 9:00 p.m. cutoff.

They received a request for the new ad rules form the Independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health.

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