The BBC has come under fire over plans to broadcast one of its Radio 5 Live shows from an abortion clinic.
During the show Victoria Derbyshire, the show’s presenter, will interview women who have chosen to have an abortion and some of the clinic’s staff members.
However critics say the show, which will be broadcast from an as-yet-unnamed location, amounts to little more than “free advertising”.
A spokesman for the pro-life charity LIFE said: “Let’s not be fooled. This programme would promote the clinics and the abortion industry at a time when it is reeling from recent allegations of improper conduct.
“As if it is not enough that the industry is now being allowed to advertise abortions as a product, here comes the BBC with some free advertising.”
And a spokeswoman for the Prolife Alliance said: “This latest initiative from the abortion lobby will inevitably provide free advertising for the organisation in question which surely cannot qualify as an exercise in objective journalism.”
A BBC spokesman said: “Victoria Derbyshire’s programme from the clinic and our coverage later that day will be robust and challenging and will offer an opportunity for both sides to discuss their views”.
And speaking to the Independent newspaper, the presenter said: “What we want to do is to talk to everybody involved who works in a clinic – the receptionist, the doctors, the consultants, the counsellors, and, if patients agree, we will talk to them.”
Last month it emerged that dozens of abortion clinics were allegedly breaking the law following surprise inspections ordered by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.
Mr Lansley said he was “shocked” and “appalled” at the findings, which included evidence that doctors have falsified abortion consent forms.
Currently two doctors must sign a referral form before a woman can go ahead with an abortion. But inspectors discovered that doctors were pre-signing the forms without meeting the women concerned or reviewing their medical notes.
In February an undercover investigation by The Daily Telegraph revealed that women are being granted abortions after telling doctors their baby is the ‘wrong sex’.