Comment from Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales re. TV commercials for abortion servicesI have added the italics. Abortion, contraceptive and, in some situations, cosmetic treatments strike me as being rather different in nature than other medical treatments. This is because they are provided, in general, to people who are not actually suffering from an illness or injury. Their potential client base is therefore the male and female population as a whole, and not just those who might suffer from a diagnosed illness or injury. It is also of its nature an elective choice in the fullest sense, rather than a choice indicated by a medical condition. To a greater or lesser extent, these have become consumer services - and the proposed television advertising by an abortion provider makes this clear in a rather eloquent way.
A spokesperson for the CBCEW said:
We believe that services which offer or refer for abortion - whether commercial or not-for-profit organisations - should not be allowed to advertise on broadcast media.
Abortion is not a consumer service. To present it as such erodes respect for life and is highly misleading and damaging to women, who may feel pressured into making a quick decision, which can never be revoked. Moreover, to allow the broadcasting advertising of abortion-referral services is, in effect, to allow the exploitative promotion of these services and is not in the interests of the health or psychological well-being of women.
For this reason the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has consistently opposed any relaxation of the BCAP Guidance on broadcast advertising to allow this (see below).
The Bishops of England and Wales encourage and support women to make informed choices about their emotional, psychological and physical well-being. The Bishops support a number of charities which do this, in particular the organisation called ‘LIFE’ which offers confidential information, counselling and practical help and support for women contemplating abortion, suffering after pregnancy loss or struggling to cope after abortion.
LIFE - loving life, offering hope have also made a statement in the light of the proposed advertising.
Friday, 21 May, 2010
LIFE, the national caring and educational charity, has expressed doubt about Marie Stopes’ claims to offer a full and proper counselling service at their abortion clinics.
A LIFE spokesperson said: “LIFE has considerable expertise in this area, employing a large number of diploma-qualified counsellors and skilled helpers, who offer person-centred non-directive counselling, accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Our services are also completely free of charge for all users. Do Marie Stopes – and other abortion providers – offer such extensive, independent and accessible services? Is their counselling really free of conflicts of interest, given their financial interest in women going through with abortion? Are all their counsellors accredited and qualified? Are women given full information about the potential side-effects of abortion and the available alternatives?”
“At LIFE we are totally committed to meeting the needs of women in crisis pregnancy. We have no financial interest in the outcome of clients’ decisions. We provide a safe space where women can talk through their feelings and discuss their needs. We hope that all organisations that deal with women in crisis pregnancy have the same values and aspirations.”