A group of MPs has criticised the nation’s first ever abortion advert which aired on national television last month.
The 30-second commercial by abortion provider Marie Stopes International (MSI) outraged pro-lifers who warned that the ad “trivialises human life”.
But now a group of MPs has called on the Government to find out if any women have ever chosen to have their babies after being counselled by MSI, and how many of their patients are now suffering from post-abortion trauma.
The call was made in an Early Day Motion (EDM) presented by the Labour MP Jim Dobbin, and the Conservative MPs William Cash and Andrew Rosindell.
The trio also expressed concern that the controversial ad was in breach of broadcast regulations, and they challenged the Advertising Standard Authority’s (ASA’s) claim that the commercial isn’t advertising abortion.
The EDM notes that The Royal College of Psychiatrists have recommended for a number of years “that women considering abortion should be given independent counselling because of possible psychiatric trauma”.
MSI offers women with unwanted pregnancies counseling sessions for £80, but the MPs caution that these sessions “always” involve clients being told when they can attend a MSI clinic to have an abortion.
MSI’s abortion advert, which will continue to be aired until the end of June, focuses on the question ‘Are you late?’ to grab the attention of women who may have missed their period.
But critics have warned that in reality the advert will exploit women who are already in a vulnerable position.
Michaela Aston, from pro-life charity Life, cautioned: “To allow abortion providers to advertise on TV, as though they were no different from car companies or detergent manufacturers, is grotesque.”
Norman Wells, Director of the Family Education Trust, said: “Every abortion involves a personal tragedy for a mother and a child which will have lasting consequences whether immediately felt or not.”
And Mike Judge, Head of Communications at The Christian Institute said: “This TV ad is not about information, it is a campaign ad by the abortion lobby to normalise what is, after all, an extremely sensitive subject.
“A TV commercial is not an appropriate medium for this”, he said.
Last week it was disclosed that MSI is using British taxpayers’ money to open abortion clinics in China.
The organisation carries out 65,000 abortions a year in Britain, most of them through NHS contracts for which it receives £30m a year, according to media reports.
Money left over from the NHS cash is used in the group’s international division.