Abortion TV ads on hold following public outcry

A proposal to allow television adverts for abortion has been put on hold following a mass public outcry.

A consultation on the plans attracted comments and petitions from 40,000 people, with the majority opposing the idea.

Changes to advertising rules rarely receive more than 300 submissions so the unusually large response has persuaded officials to delay making a decision until next year.

The consultation also covered a proposal to allow condom ads before the 9pm watershed.

Critics fear that advertising abortion on TV would encourage a casual attitude towards the practice.

There were also concerns that the ads would make it make it more difficult for parents to manage how their children come to hear about abortion.

Eric Hester, vice-chairman of the Family Education Trust, said: “I am glad that there has been such a big public reaction, but not surprised. People hold strong views on abortion.

“We feel it is not appropriate to be promoted or advertised on television. A TV advertisement is very superficial and cannot do justice to a serious issue such as this.

“Allowing advertising of these services on television gives it a kind of legitimacy for young people.

“These are profound issues that should first and foremost be discussed between young people and their parents, not promoted through propaganda.

“Secondly, it is not as if this is some sort of vital service that people cannot find out about through other means.”

The final decision will be made by the Broadcast Committee on Advertising Practice and the Advertising Standards Authority early next year.

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