The United Kingdom’s Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) will soon allow for-profit abortion providers to run ads on television and radio programs. The move was met with scorn from conservative members of Parliament and Christian charities.
Nonprofit abortion providers are already permitted to advertise, and there has never been a formal legal ban on advertising abortions in the European country.
The agency said its decision came after consultation with the public about public health concerns. The U.K. government’s Department of Health was invited to participate, but the BCAP told the Press Association news service that “[w]e did not receive any response.”
‘This isn’t about all-out adverts for abortion,” a source close to the decision making process told the Daily Mail newspaper on Saturday, saying it would broadly cover “post-conception advisory services.”
“It will be places saying, ‘Come and chat to us for advice.’ Of course, a lot of those organisations will provide terminations.”
“The idea that abortions should be freely advertised on TV along with toothpaste and breakfast cereal,” said Christian Action Research and Education (CARE) spokesman Dr. Dan Boucher, “says something very sad about the way in which the values of our consumer culture — of acquiring and disposing — are penetrating our way of life generally, even our approach to life itself.”
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children called the new plans “pernicious,” and worried that “abortion-peddlers’ would be permitted to “poison our culture.”
“Broadcasters will be making profit through advertising revenue off the back of a service which ends life,” said Conservative Member of Parliament Nadine Dorries. “It’s appalling.”
Dorries said she is trying to change British law to require abortion clinics to refer pregnant women to an independent counselor before terminating their pregnancies.
The BACP and the Committee on Advertising Practice, another organization that lobbied for the new rule, are industry groups made up of commercial broadcasters and ad industry companies with a financial interest in creating new classes of potential advertisers.
BACP spokesman Matt Wilson argued that “commercial pro-life pregnancy services will now be able to advertise too.”