Thursday, May 20, 2010

SPUC condemn TV advertising for abortion

Following reports that Channel 4 will run TV advertisements on behalf of Marie Stopes Clinics, commencing on Monday next, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children issued the following statement condemning the move

London, 19 May 2010 - The planned screening of an advertisement for abortions on British television has been condemned by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), a leading pro-life group.

Marie Stopes International told the media today that Channel 4 will be broadcasting its advertisement for abortions from 24 May onwards.

Anthony Ozimic, SPUC communications manager, commented: “Marie Stopes may claim to be a non-profit organisation, 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. Neither Marie Stopes nor any similar organisation should be allowed to advertise the killing of unborn children.

“We are taking advice regarding the legality of the scheduled advertisement. Although Marie Stopes claims to be a charity helping women, its huge multi-national revenue means it can afford TV advertising, which is hugely expensive. This creates an unfair playing field, as pro-life groups simply cannot afford any such advertising.

“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 trivialise abortion. 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 Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport has the power to insist that Ofcom controls advertising in this area. We call upon him to intervene immediately. [cf. Communications Act 2003 s.321]

"Abortion is in English law a criminal offence. Advertising of a criminal offence is not permitted.

"European law also prohibits the advertising of restricted (i.e. on prescription) medical procedures, such as abortion. [cf. the Audio-Visual Media Regulations 2010, preamble, 89]

"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", concluded Mr Ozimic.

Last year 29,000 people signed a SPUC-organised paper petition to the prime minister against a proposal to allow abortion agencies to advertise on television and radio. Hundreds of people also wrote submissions to the broadcasting authorities against the proposal.