Television spots airing in Britain advertising Marie Stopes International (MSI) abortion facilities have garnered over 1,000 complaints from viewers in their first two weeks. The volume of complaints has prompted the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to agree to investigate whether the ads have violated broadcasting rules.
Channel 4, the independent broadcaster that agreed to run the ads, has received 611 complaints to date, with the ASA receiving 370 more, the Daily Telegraph reports. Channel 4’s statement included a complaint from one viewer: “I just want to say how appalled I am that you have allowed this advert to be shown. Also I can tell you that Channel 4 will not be watched in this house ever again.”
The ASA, however, has already stated that it will only consider the ad's content, rather than general complaints about the advertisement of abortion services on television.
Three Members of Parliament - Labour’s Jim Dobbin, and Conservative MPs William Cash and Andrew Rosindell - have added their voices to the debate with an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons calling for an investigation. The motion asks MPs to find out if any women have ever chosen not to abort after being counseled by MSI, and how many of their patients are now suffering from post-abortion trauma.