Advertising abortion on television will “dramatically increase” abortion rates, say most churchgoers.
A ComRes survey of churchgoers across Roman Catholic and Protestant denominations found that most, including 66 per cent of evangelicals, believe advertising abortion on television would cause the rates to soar.
Most of those surveyed disagree with the suggestion that abortion ads would be of help to those deciding whether to have an abortion.
The poll follows proposals from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to allow ads on abortion on television for the first time.
The ASA also wants to allow condom ads to be shown before the 9pm watershed.
But almost three quarters of respondents in the poll want the advertising codes to remain as they are.
The poll also found that 60 per cent agree that an increase in sex-related ads would not improve the sexual behaviour of people in the UK.
The survey follows recent news that the number of abortions in Scotland has reached an all-time high, and that over half of pregnant teenagers in England and Wales now opt for an abortion.
Of around 40,000 pregnancies among girls aged 18 or younger in 2007, more than 20,000 ended in abortion, of which 1,452 were second or third abortions.
John Smeaton, national director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) fears that the ASA’s plans “would completely disregard the adverse effect of abortion on women’s health”.
He continued: “Agencies with a financial interest in abortion will be in a position to buy expensive broadcast advertising, whereas groups which provide objective information about abortion and its impact on women’s health will be unlikely to afford to advertise”.
LIFE, a pro-life charity, has called on those opposing abortion to petition the ASA not to go ahead with allowing abortion ads on television.