Britain to See Abortion Ad on TV for First Time Tonight, Legal Challenge Looms

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 24, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Britain to See Abortion Ad on TV for First Time Tonight, Legal Challenge Looms

by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 24
, 2010

London, England ( — British television viewers will see an ad promoting abortions for the first time on TV tonight on Channel 4. However, a pro-life legal group is hoping a last-minute legal action can stop the television ads for the Marie Stopes International abortion business.

The Committee of Advertising Practice and the Broadcast Committee on Advertising Practice allowed rules changes that paved the way for the new ads.

Without the television and radio commercials, MSI has relied on magazines, taxi and bus ads, and advertising through alternative newspapers.

The ad will run on Channel 4 after 10:00 p.m. but the Christian Legal Centre informed The Sun newspaper it hopes to block what it calls an advertisement for the "destruction of human life."

"Members of the public will be enraged that such adverts are allowed to be beamed into their living rooms, especially as early as 10.10pm, when very many teenagers are around," CLC director Andrea Minichiello-Williams told the newspaper.

"Over 200,000 abortions take place each year in the UK and the figures are not falling. So-called ‘family planning’ is a multimillion-pound industry and should not be aided by TV advertising," she said. "The notion that the destruction of human life can be advertised freely on TV as a service to the public is outrageous."

The television commercials asks if women "are late" — in terms of whether they missed their last period — and advises them to call a 24-hour abortion hotline.

Marie Stopes International chief executive Dana Hovig told the Sun that the abortion business received 350,000 calls last year and hopes to increase that number with the television spots.

"We hope the new Are you late? campaign will encourage people to talk about their choices, including abortion, more openly and honestly," she said.

Julia Acott, a counseling manager for CareConfidential, also opposes the ads.

"I do not think it is a good thing to have this aired openly and publicly," she stated.

Anthony Ozimic, communications manager for SPUC, a major pro-life organization, criticized the coming ads.

“Marie Stopes may claim to be a non-profit organization, but they have a financial interest in drumming up demand for abortion. Marie Stopes has a cavalier attitude to obeying legal restrictions regarding abortion, and has been implicated in illegal abortions overseas," he said.

"Neither Marie Stopes nor any similar organization should be allowed to advertise the killing of unborn children," he added.

“Allowing abortion to be advertised on TV will lead to more unborn babies being killed and to more women and girls suffering the after-effects of abortion. Abortion ads will trivialize abortion," Ozimic continued. "It is an insult to the hundreds of women hurt by abortion every day. Such ads are offensive and will mislead viewers about the reality of abortion."

The group points out that, technically, abortion is in English law a criminal offence and advertising of a criminal offence is not permitted. Also, English law also prohibits the advertising of restricted (i.e. on prescription) medical procedures, such as abortion.

"The Broadcasting Act 1990 requires that advertising is not offensive or harmful. Abortion is offensive to the countless women damaged by abortion; and lethally harmful to the hundreds of unborn children aborted every day," the SPUC official continued.

Last year 29,000 people signed a SPUC-organized paper petition to the prime minister against a proposal to allow abortion agencies to advertise on television and radio.

Related web sites:
Society for the Protection of Unborn Children –

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