Britain's broadcast advertising body has given the go-ahead for private abortion clinics to advertise their services on television, angering those who say that the move desensitizes the public to the practice.
The Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice said late Friday there was no justification for barring private clinics that offer post-pregnancy services, including abortions, from advertising on television. Nonprofit post-pregnancy services are already allowed to advertise on television, and their for-profit counterparts are allowed to advertise in all other media.
The organization's spokesman, Matt Wilson, said that "there is not going to be some sort of free-for-all saying: 'Come to us to get an abortion.' They are not there to promote abortion, they have to promote an array of services."
Speaking to Britain's right-leaning Daily Mail, Conservative lawmaker Nadine Dories said the move would allow broadcasters to make a profit "through advertising revenue off the back of a service which ends life. It's appalling."
British law allows abortion up to the 24th week of pregnancy, so long as two doctors agree that the procedure would cause less harm to a woman's physical or mental health than carrying the fetus to term. There is no time limit in cases which pose a serious risk to the life of the mother.