Lobby groups have piled pressure on the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) after it ruled that the controversial Marie Stopes TV adverts did not promote abortion services.
National pro-life charity LIFE, together with the Christian Institute and Christian Legal Centre – a member of the Alive and Kicking campaign – have raised a counter argument against the ASA decision.
A statement from LIFE read: ‘ASA ruled that the Marie Stopes advert is not in breach of the code, because, it says, it does not advertise abortion. As Marie Stopes is Britain’s largest abortion provider, to claim the ad does not promote their abortion service is disingenuous to say the least.
‘How can an organisation that has a 24-hour abortion-booking hotline on its homepage claim to offer a general advice service or a totality of pregnancy services?’
The CLC also said it would fully support any judicial review of the ASA decision, believing that the adverts, first shown on 24 May this year, were deeply misleading. A statement from the CLC read: ‘[The adverts] never mentioned that Marie Stopes International is an abortion provider and many women may have called their helpline expecting impartial advice’.
Their comments came as news broke in the Daily Mail that Marie Stopes International has been offering free abortions to employees, their partners and children as part of their benefits package.
According to the Daily Mail, the company, which receives an estimated £30 million per year from the NHS to carry out abortions, informs new staff, ‘For your dedication, passion and hard work you will be rewarded with our support and benefits – both financial and non-financial’.