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Saturday, 21 January 2012

Abortion ads on TV? Wait for the proverbial to hit the fan

This is going to be a helluva can of worms. God botherers will be out in force.

“Private clinics that charge for pregnancy services including abortions will be able to advertise on television and radio under new rules,” says the BBC.

The new law takes effect in April.

One comment beneath the BBC story says, “Abortion is always a terrible thing whatever your ethical and moral beliefs on the issue.”

And that’s true. I’m not sure about advertising abortion clinics when, say, murderous tobacco can’t be advertised. I’m not comfortable about abortion on demand as a form of contraception. I don’t feel qualified to state an opinion, although such a lack of qualification won’t stop what I expect will be a deluge of protest.

I do believe, however, that abortion should be available on demand when a mother’s life or wellbeing is at stake, where there’s been a rape, even when the baby might suffer a shitty life because of a known serious problem with its brain or limbs. And I believe the Catholic Church should be put publicly in its place when it gets on its high horse about abortion.

I recall one story from Brazil in which anyone who helped a young, frail girl to have an abortion – a young, frail girl who’d been raped by her stepfather and was expecting twins – would be excommunicated, and that meant doctors and her mother. Whatever you think of the damnably silly business of excommunication, it’s a serious thing to devout believers and can ruin their lives.

This little girl might not have survived the birth. Fortunately, the abortion went ahead.

We reported on that in 2009 – rather angrily, as I recall.

But abortion nonetheless is not something that should be taken lightly. And the reason I mention the ads story at all is that it will be the religious element that will bleat the most, as if no one else could put forward a moral case for or against advertising abortion clinics. My reference above shows that religion can’t take the moral high ground in such matters.

Decisions should be taken on medical and social grounds, not because an imagined deity might not like the idea – a deity, it has to be said, that sanctions genocide and other horrors in the Old Testament.


Truthspew said...

This is going to be interesting. That would never air in the U.S. because the God Botherers here would be rioting.

But it's going to prove to be a YouTube bonanza.

Eric Ramey said...

Education and availability is all it needs. I think advertisement shouldn't be necessary. If doctors and social programs are properly handled with respect toward the individual rather than dogma, these things can be dealt with as informed choices rather than commercialized.

Robert said...

RE: the brazilian girl. The rapist/stepfather is still in good standing with the church that excommunicated the girl, her mom and all those that helped.

Angelo Ventura said...

Religion is a rape to humanity.I'm not surprised.Child abusers sticking with their kind.

Angelo Ventura said...

The fact is, abortion is the suppression of a life for the sake of another.Only dire situations like danger for life and sanity,rape,abandon,severe malformatins of the fetus can justify it. It's a choice that should remain open, but a grim choice,not the stuff of ads

George Broadhead said...

The owner of this blog, the Pink Triangle Trust, is a gay Humanist charity and I think its trustees and donors would agree with the BHA's policy on abortion:

"The British Humanist Association’s position in regard to abortion is 'pro-choice'.We believe that the present law in England and Wales and Scotland is permissive: it does not impose abortion on anyone who does not want one or does not want to perform one.

For society as a whole, as well as for the children themselves, it is better if every child is a wanted child. However, abortion is not the best way of avoiding unwanted children, and improved sex education, easily available contraception, and better education and opportunities for young women, can all help to reduce the number of abortions. But as long as abortion is needed as a last resort, most humanists would agree that society should provide safe legal facilities. The alternatives, which would inevitably include illegal abortions, are far worse."

Stuart Hartill said...

I don't see this as a 'problem', more of a long overdue balance considering we've had misleading ads for a notorious faith-based anti-abortion 'charity' in the local paper here (and I suspect many other places) for years, and public health authorities are reluctant to make all the options quite clear to accidentally pregnant women. The ads are disguised as 'pregnancy advice', but what kind of 'advice' are worried pregnant women going to get from bigots with a religious agenda, and in communities like ours where the religious right dominate even public health services the bigger problem is, where are pregnant women going to get ANY balanced advice on the options open to them?
LIFE don't even pay for the ads in our local paper. They're put in as space-fillers when paid advertising isn't quite enough to fill a page because they have a sympathiser amongst the staff who added them to a small list of local charities which, curiously, rarely seem to get the space although their ads are exactly the same size.