Pro-life leaders are preparing to step up their campaign for an abortion ban in Northern Ireland after advertising watchdogs cleared a controversial billboard campaign following complaints.
The billboards with the slogan “ABORTION KILLS BABIES: Repeal Section 9, have been displayed across the region of Northern Ireland since March. The new abortion regulations under Section 9 of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act came into effect on March 31.
An investigation was mounted by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after they received calls for the billboards to be banned.
Among the complaints, some challenged whether the use of the word “baby” was misleading “as they understood that this was not a medically recognised term in this context”.
However, the ASA has ruled against taking any action and say the adverts comply with the Human Rights Act 1998 regulations which defend the right to freedom of expression.
In a letter clearing SPUC of any wrongdoing, the ASA’s Complaints Executive Tom Merryweather stated the complaints were put to the ASA Council for consideration.
Mr Merryweather said that the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) Code was drafted to reflect the requirements of Article 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998 which states that everyone has the right to freedom of expression, subject to any proportionate limitations as were necessary for the functioning of democratic society.
The ASA Council considered that the ASA could not intervene to prohibit the ad without restricting the advertiser’s freedom of expression unjustifiably, and therefore concluded that it did not breach the Code.
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“It is an inescapable fact that abortion kills babies”
Liam Gibson SPUC Northern Ireland Political Officer said: “The design of the posters was very simple and in no way sensational. Abortion is a black and white issue and the ads reflect that by stating ‘Abortion kills babies’ in white letters on a black background.”
“Of course, people who want to sanitise abortion pretend that a foetus isn’t a baby but it is an inescapable fact that every abortion kills a baby. The ASA could not contradict that or say the adverts were misleading.
“Naturally, SPUC is pleased that the ASA has decided to reject the complaints made against us.”
Mr Gibson emphasised that the new abortion law which Westminster has imposed on Northern Ireland is the most extreme in all of Europe.
He said: “That’s why it is very important that people are made aware of what has happened and the need for Section 9 of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Act to be repealed.”
Boosting the repeal campaign
SPUC will now up its campaign and increase its advertising programme.
Mr Gibson said: “We intend to extend the initiative and continue to build support for the restoration of the right to life of all unborn children. Abortion is an act of lethal violence and there is no acceptable level of violence against children.”
Approximately 100,000 people are alive in Northern Ireland today, as a result of the region resisting the 1967 Abortion Act.
SPUC says that Westminster has imposed the radical abortion regime on Northern Ireland without the democratic consent of the people and that it is the most extreme abortion law in Europe.
If you would like to help repeal the abortion regime, you can join SPUC Northern Ireland’s campaign here
LifeNews Note: Courtesy of SPUC. The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children is a leading pro-life organization in the United Kingdom.