London, 21 January 2011: Britain's advertising 'watchdog' is acting as the abortion industry's poodle, said the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), a leading pro-life group.
SPUC was responding to the decision (see note 1 for editors below) by the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) and the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP, for non-broadcast advertising) to allow so-called commercial post-conception advice services - in reality abortion businesses - to advertise on television and radio. SPUC has for several years been running a grassroots nationwide campaign against the proposal, inspiring thousands of ordinary people to protest to the government, Ofcom and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about such advertising.
Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's communications manager, commented: "Today's statement by BCAP's Matt Wilson (note 2) shows just how much his supposed 'watchdog' is acting as the abortion industry's poodle. Mr Wilson claimed that post-conception advice services 'are not there to promote abortion', yet Marie Stopes and the British Pregnancy Advisory Services (BPAS) are Britain's biggest abortion lobbyists and abortion chain operators. Mr Wilson also claimed that 'commercial pro-life pregnancy services will now be able to advertise too.' Yet there are no commercial pro-life pregnancy services in the UK: all pro-life pregnancy services in the UK are non-commercial and therefore cannot afford broadcast advertising. The massive income Marie Stopes and other abortion providers generate from both private and NHS-contracted abortion means they will dominate such advertising.
"The pro-abortion bias of BCAP/CAP is further proved by its requirement that advertisements by pro-life pregnancy centres must make clear that they do not refer women for abortions. BCAP/CAP have admitted (note 1) that they have imposed this requirement based on advice from the pro-abortion Department of Health, the pro-abortion Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and a pro-abortion parliamentary committee report. Yet BPAP/CAP have also ruled that Marie Stopes and their ilk will not have to declare that they offer abortion or have a financial interest in abortion. This two-faced decision is blatant discrimination against pro-life centres at the behest of the pro-abortion lobby.
"We are disturbed that Jeremy Hunt, the media secretary, has concluded that he has no power to overrule BCAP/CAP despite being reportedly 'very unhappy' about their decision. This contradicts an admission by Mr Hunt's deputy Ed Vaizey that the media secretary does in fact have such a power (note 3), as SPUC has said all along.
"This decision will only serve the abortion industry's money-spinning trade which hurts women through killing their unborn children", concluded Mr Ozimic.
Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's communications manager, can be contacted on:
Notes for editors:
1. Post-conception advice services. Regulatory statement, 20 January 2012 http://www.cap.org.uk/Media-Centre/2012/~/media/Files/CAP/CAP/Regulatory%20statement%20January%202012.ashx
2. Mr Wilson was quoted by the Mail, 20 January 2012 http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/news/article-2089628/TV-screen-pro-abortion-adverts-private-clinics-ahead-media-promotion.html
3. Hansard, 2 June 2010, column 26w http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm100602/text/100602w0006.htm#10060227000075
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