Thursday, 26 March 2009

on giving women more information about their choices

a review of advertising codes by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and the Broadcast Committee on Advertising Practice (BCAP) is now going to a public consultation. There are a number of recommendations in the report, the most interesting of which is a change to the rules on advertising family planning services (more from the beeb here).

what bothers me about the recommendation is that the lines that are being drawn are between pro-life and pro-choice organisations - both of which will be allowed to advertise. For me, the distinction is not between pro-life and pro-choice, it's between organisations that will give a women information about all of available options and ones that will seek to promote a particular world view.

I have a bit of experience in this area (having had a termination). When I went to the initial organisation they talked to me about all of my options (including abortion and adoption) but didn't pass judgement on the route I chose. I see this as a completely different thing to going to an organisation who would seek to persuade me to make a choice that fitted in with their views, or worse, attempt to coerce me into making a decision that would not be in my best interests (and effectively take away my right to choose what is best for me). I'm not singling out the pro-lifers here - pro-choice is about choice - to have that, you need to know what you're choosing between.

I think that this report is a great step forward in informing women of their choices. I just hope that the public consultation is not completely sensationalised by the press - there are some issues here that need to be addressed.

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