ASA rejects complaints of UK's first 'abortion' TV ad

An advert for abortion information charity Marie Stopes has attracted 1,054 complaints from the public, but has managed to avoid a ban after the ASA rejected the complaints.

The "Are you late?" advert was the first UK television ad by an abortion advisory organization.

The ad, which ran on Channel 4 in May and June, drew the seventh highest number of complaints to the ASA of all time.

Critics said the campaign for advice on unplanned pregnancy was “misleading”, “offensive” and “harmful”.

But the Advertising Standards Authority said it did not mention or advocate abortion.

Marie Stopes defended its campaign saying it aimed to draw attention to its advice line for any women concerned about a missed period or unplanned pregnancy.

The charity said it received an "overwhelmingly positive" response to the ad, taking significantly more calls to the advice line during the period the ad was shown from women and health professionals who expressed gratitude for the support.

The ASA ruled: "We understood that post-conception decisions could be very difficult, but considered the ad dealt with the issue of possible pregnancy in an understated way and was not sensationalist.

"The women featured in the ad looked deep in thought, and we did not therefore consider that the ad trivialised the dilemma of an unplanned pregnancy.

"Whilst the ad featured three women, we did not consider that it suggested that only the woman would be affected, or that she should take any decisions alone."

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