ASA decision on abortion adverts wrong
The Advertising Standards Authority has decided to reject protests at Marie Stopes International's abortion advert. This is a very unfortunate decision as the ad is misleading, harmful and offensive.
The ASA's reasoning in accepting the ad is preposterous. One justification for the ad to remain is that 'the ASA did not consider that the ad focused on or advocated any particular choice or course of action over another'.
Marie Stopes International is an abortion provider and has made millions of pounds providing abortions across the world. Any ads from them will inherently promote abortion and to suggest otherwise is ridiculous.
The ASA, by allowing this ad, suggest that it isn't offensive but if it weren't why has it attracted over 1,000 complaints? To suggest that advertising abortion, in the same way you advertise a car, is not offensive, ignores the sensitivity of this issue. Millions of license-payers who oppose abortion deserve to have their opinions respected. The ASA claims that it exists to 'ensure that consumers do not just enjoy the ads they see, but they can trust them, too'.
Northern Ireland is thankfully spared from these ads as abortions here remain illegal.
However, the ads show that legalising abortion in Northern Ireland will lead to a cynical and exploitative market in which our most vulnerable people will be taken advantage of.
ALEX REDPATH/SONYA FORSYTHE
Co-presidents, Pro-Life Society, Queen's University, Belfast