Private clinics offering abortions will be allowed to advertise on television under new regulations.
The Broadcast Committee of Advertising (BCAP) found “no justification” to prevent commercial organisations offering a range of “post-conception advice services” (PCAS) from engaging in TV advertising, providing they didn’t use “harmful or offensive” content.
Not-for-profit PCAS organisations are already free to advertise on television and radio.
According to the BCAP, the primary drive for the rule change was to ensure that advertisements for PCAS do not mislead “potentially vulnerable” women in what services they offer.
“The new regulations will be enforced on public health grounds so that those women who do decide to seek a termination do not experience delays in obtaining one, which would increase the risk of complications arising from the procedure,” said BCAS.
Under the new regulations, clinics offering advice on unplanned pregnancies must make it clear if the service does not refer women directly for a termination.
The new rules take effect on 30 April 2012.
Mark Bhagwandin, a spokesman for the Pro-life charity LIFE, said he is “stunned” by the advertising watchdog’s decision.
“It is easy to see, private abortion providers, made rich through the public purse, spending significant sums on advertising their product – abortion,” he said.
“It will represent a not unsurprising business model that has at its heart, the interest of money and not of women. Where abortion businesses try to maximize profits through advertising their product, we are bound to see significant increases in the already extremely high number of abortions every year.
“The BCAP ruling is not in the interest of women and is deeply irresponsible”
Question: Should private clinics offering abortions be allowed to advertise on television?