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Abortion clinics to advertise on TV

Private clinics that charge for pregnancy services, including abortions, will be able to advertise on television and radio under new regulations.

Clinics offering a range of “post-conception advice services”, including counselling and terminations will be free to advertise in broadcast media because there is no justification to prevent it as long as they are not harmful, offensive or misleading, the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) said.

Not-for-profit pregnancy services are already allowed to advertise on television and radio and for-profit clinics can already advertise in all other media, including newspapers.

Under new rules clinics will now have to make it clear in all advertising if they do not offer referral for termination. This is because of strong public health grounds, the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) said.

The new rules will take effect on 30 April.

A statement from BCAP said: “BCAP decided to remove the television rule, which effectively prevents commercial PCAS offering personal advice from advertising, and the radio rule which effectively prevents only PCAS with local authority or NHS approval from advertising.

“BCAP understood that the removal of these restrictions would allow legally available PCAS to advertise, while maintaining robust protection for general audiences through existing rules which prevent broadcast advertising from causing harm or offence.”

It added: “We held a full public consultation in summer 2011 and invited the Department for Culture Media and Sport and the Department of Health to respond. We did not receive any response.”

Matt Wilson, a spokesman for BCAP, said: “There is not going to be some sort of free-for-all saying ‘come to us to get an abortion’. They are not there to promote abortion, they have to promote an array of services. It is about being responsible and commercial pro-life pregnancy services will now be able to advertise too.”

Readers' comments (5)

  • Wouldn't it be nice to live in a world where all conceptions were mindful and consensual ones where mum was supported by a 'significant other' and not the welfare state and the fetus was wanted and well cared for in the womb and out of it.

    Well wake up and smell the coffee - this is not the world we live it (infact, its a world that has never existed). So we need to make the best of it - and provide the information these women need, using whatever medium is most useful for that purpose. God knows, there is much distasteful things on TV (Jeremy Kyle being but one of them).....

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  • Lets not forget that making the decision to have a termination is not easy and the actual event can be traumatic. Reminding these women on a day to day basis is unfair. If women need this information they will find it

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  • I agree, advertising on tv may cause further distress..to be reminded of a time you wish to forget, and could cause further relatioshp breakdown. If the service is needed,it will be found.

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  • doesn't advertising services for abortion trivialise it?

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  • further to my comment above, advertising and marketing at the end of the day is more for the benefits of service providers pockets than it is for the users and everything nowadays is being trivialised in this way.

    it seems that one day it will be acceptable for nurses and doctors to advertise their services as well!

    Unsuitable or offensive?

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