Mary Wakefield

The decision to let abortion clinics advertise on TV is wrong on every level

The decision to let abortion clinics advertise on TV is wrong on every level
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The news that abortion clinics are to be allowed, for the first time, to advertise on TV and radio strikes me as utterly grim: a bad idea and a deeply sad one to boot.

The Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practise say they're responding to Government calls to combat rising teenage pregnancy but if so they're going about it exactly the wrong way.

To start with it'll be counterproductive. To advertise abortion is to suggest that it is a legitimate form of birth control—and the simpler and more painless the ad makes it look the more it'll encourage young girls not to take sex seriously; or to worry about protection. So abortion ads may well increase the number of pregnant teens.

Second: even if abortion rates rise as well, surely no-one sane or humane could claim that that's a good thing in itself? If it's a necessary evil, abortion is still an evil. Whatever those nice people at Marie Stopes say, killing foetuses is a sad and unpleasant affair. Many women who never expected to turn a hair, mourn their lost babies all their lives.

It seems to me at best wrong-headed and at worst barbaric to actively promote it.

Written byMary Wakefield

Mary Wakefield is commissioning editor of The Spectator.

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