Monday, May 24, 2010

Abortion and truth in advertising

British television viewers may start seeing TV ads for abortion tonight:
London, England ( -- British television viewers will see an ad promoting abortions for the first time on TV tonight on Channel 4. However, a pro-life legal group is hoping a last-minute legal action can stop the television ads for the Marie Stopes International abortion business.

The Committee of Advertising Practice and the Broadcast Committee on Advertising Practice allowed rules changes that paved the way for the new ads.

Without the television and radio commercials, MSI has relied on magazines, taxi and bus ads, and advertising through alternative newspapers.

The ad will run on Channel 4 after 10:00 p.m. but the Christian Legal Centre informed The Sun newspaper it hopes to block what it calls an advertisement for the "destruction of human life." [...]

The television commercials asks if women "are late" -- in terms of whether they missed their last period -- and advises them to call a 24-hour abortion hotline.

Meanwhile, on this side of the pond, a voice of sanity in the debate about laws requiring abortion-bound mothers to view an ultrasound image of their children before signing off on the tiny one's execution:

A dozen states are considering laws that require abortion clinics to provide ultrasound images for women seeking abortion. Obstetric ultrasound is a safe and noninvasive procedure using high frequency sound waves to provide a picture of the moving fetus on a monitor screen. A "transducer" is placed on the abdomen and moved to capture different views inside the uterus. The fetal heartbeat can be viewed as early as four weeks, and other fetal measurements can be made accurately from the images on the screen.

Opponents of these laws, like the editors at USA Today, say the ultrasound mandates "cross a line" and force "unnecessary medical procedures" on women. Yet the reality of abortion in America suggests this rhetoric is off the mark.

There are far too many stories of women who were not fully informed before their abortion and are suffering now because of it. In fact, there are women in court today suing abortion doctors for lying to them about the state of development of their child. The people in various states considering these laws have the right to decide that women deserve factual information before an abortion and that the best information about fetal development is an ultrasound picture. [...]

Abortion proponents could adopt this standard of practice voluntarily, of course, but they won't. Abortion clinics are for-profit ventures, and notoriously underregulated — animal hospitals and beauty salons are better regulated than some abortion clinics. They will always oppose laws that strengthen a woman's right to know because when women are empowered, they tend to choose life for their children. That's good medicine, but bad for business.

In considering these two separate matters--commercials for abortion on British TV, and laws in America requiring women who choose to kill their children via abortion to view an ultrasound image of the child first--I can't help but think that abortion is one of those consumer products which could only be hurt, not helped, by truth-in-advertising requirements. Imagine if during every abortion ad on TV, the abortion promoters had to add, in one of those silky undervoiced "disclaimer" bits, something that went like this:

Announcer: Your abortion will end the life of the developing human being inside of you. He or she will likely be either dismembered alive and removed, shredded alive via a suction device, poisoned to death and delivered, or simply delivered alive and left to expire. You will not cease to be a mother via this abortion, as you will remain the mother of a dead human child. If you are having an abortion because you are poor, addicted to drugs or alcohol, or in a bad relationship, you should be aware that after the abortion you will still be poor, addicted, or stuck with the kind of jerk who doesn't want children. Abortion will not solve any of your present problems and may create future ones. If you are unhappy about your abortion, your abortionist does not offer any money-back or other guarantees, as once he has killed your child he doesn't give an expletive deleted about what happens to you, and isn't about to refund any of your cash.

This would be accompanied by ultrasound images of actual abortions, preferably recorded using 3-D or 4-D ultrasound technology. The ad could then revert to its original theme, much in the same way those pharmaceutical ads do right after they tell you the many and lovely ways in which their product could theoretically permanently alter, injure, or cure you (but you'd be free of that unsightly rash!).

No, abortion will never be advertised truthfully. Truth in advertising would put the abortion pimps and hustlers out of business for good.

1 comment:

Siarlys Jenkins said...

I'll sign on that a commercial PROMOTING abortion as a business is repugnant. For that matter, running a business with the primary purpose of mass-producing abortion is repugnant. There is a world of difference between saying "let the woman make a decision without police interference" and promoting abortion as a positive good. Its not. It may, in my seldom humble opinion, be a reasonable choice, or a necessary one, but it is not a positive good.

I'm not sure there is any legal basis to banning such advertising from the media, but if we can ban advertising of cigarettes, while not imposing criminal penalties on those who smoke, a similar case could probably be made for abortion.

I have two caveats on ultrasound. It is quite reasonable to require that any clinic performing an abortion OFFER the woman an ultrasound BEFORE she signs papers authorizing the procedure. I would resist laws REQUIRING her to watch. Also, the ultrasound should be presented without magnification, unless, during the ultrasound, she REQUESTS a close-up. I do think the pro-life camp tries to pull at heart-strings with significant magnification that makes the tiny fetus look more baby like than it really is. But if the woman asks, there should be no question that she is entitled to see.

A final note, more favorable to your position here. I am quite convinced, from reading here, at Gerard Nadal's site, and at Pro Life Pro Patria, that there is genuine abuse rushing women into having an abortion who have NOT made a careful, thoughtful, informed decision. Incidence of women asking "is that my baby?" when its too late would be greatly reduced by offering steps like this in advance.

I suspect that a major culprit is the gratuitous advice that non-profits should adopt a "business model" for their operations. Obviously, Planned Parenthood has taken this advice to heart, with the result that they now depend on the "revenue producing" services, and feel a need to push them rather than offer them. A non-profit is not a business, no more is government, nor is a union, and none of the above should be expected to operate like one. You don't have to run "as a business" to keep open and honest books. A non-profit is, by definition, NOT for "profit."