The new Archbishop of Westminster has urged Roman Catholics to oppose plans to allow advertisements for condoms and abortion services on television.
The Archbishop said he suspected that providers of abortion services would present the procedure as a “simple solution” and would not warn women of the emotional and physical consequences they might face.
The Most Revd Vincent Nichols also said existing condom ads were “demeaning” to young people, depicting “drunken sex” and “casual sex on the street corner”.
Channel 4 is the only broadcaster allowed to show condom ads after 7pm, but new plans could allow these ads to be shown at any time of day except when children under ten are likely to be watching.
A broadcasting watchdog responsible for the proposals says they were recommended by the Independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health, which last year successfully pushed for compulsory sex education lessons in primary schools.
But the Archbishop pointed to existing condom ads, saying: “They depict casual sex on the street corner and drunken sex. I do not think these things do anything to genuinely help young people to understand themselves in their own dignity and in the proper meaning of what human sexuality is about.”
One Government ad shown late last year showed a pair of teenage party-goers consuming large amounts of alcohol and having sex, resulting in the girl getting pregnant. The tagline used was, “Want respect? Use a condom”.
Commenting on the abortion ad proposals, the Archbishop added: “I doubt that any intended adverts about abortion would be fully truthful and tell the whole truth of the effects of abortion in a woman’s life.”
He said that rather than being a simple solution, abortion “has traumatic implications in women’s lives”.