A British pro-life group has criticized a ruling allowing the broadcast of a television advertisement by Marie Stopes International (MSI), one of Britain’s main abortion providers. The group characterized the commercial as an indirect and “dishonest’ ad for abortion.
The ad advised women who might be pregnant to contact the organization, the Daily Mail reports. It shows several worried-looking women in everyday situations with the question “Are You Late?” displayed at the top of the commercial.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), an independent regulatory agency, ruled in favor of allowing the ad to air.
“It was an ad for a general pregnancy advice service for women who wished to learn about and discuss their options, which might include, but were not limited to, abortion,” said the ASA, according to the Daily Mail.
Marie Stopes performs about 65,000 abortions a year in the U.K.
Paul Tully, general secretary of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), said in a Tuesday statement that advertising abortion, even indirectly, is “indecent and dishonest.”
“The ASA says the ad is not offensive, thus ignoring the fundamental nature of the ad’s message which is: 'We can kill unborn babies'. This message is just as offensive as saying 'We can kill immigrants',” Tully charged.
He said the ASA’s contention that the ad does not advertise abortion is “simply casuistic,” adding that he thought it was “a great shame” that the agency did not act “more impartially.”
Tully called on British media secretary Jeremy Hunt to intervene to stop the ads.
SPUC has launched a nationwide leafleting campaign to pressure the government to intervene.