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Advertising Standards Authority upholds ALRANZ complaint

Media Release
Tuesday 29 October 2013
Advertising Standards Authority upholds ALRANZ complaint

The Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand (ALRANZ) is delighted that their complaint against the Bay of Plenty Voice for Life was upheld. ALRANZ filed the complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after reading through two full-page advertisements sponsored by the group in both the Bay of Plenty Times and Bay News in August.

The first page, entitled ‘Special Message to the Women and Girls of Tauranga and surrounding areas’, was supported by a list of religious leaders in the area and stated that the early medication abortion service offered by Family Planning was not what God wanted.

The second page, which was the focus of the complaint, ‘Medical abortions and collateral damage’, misrepresented and provided false information on early medication abortion.

ALRANZ President, Dr Morgan Healey said the group was compelled to lodge the complaint because members were outraged at the lies being disseminated.

“We just could not allow this type of advertisement to continue knowing that women in the area could be reading it, and worrying about or feeling further stigmatised for their reproductive decisions,” she said.

The ASA stated that the advertisement had breached the standards by playing on fear without justifiable reason, and using research and quotations in a manner that was misleading and was likely to exploit the lack of knowledge of a vulnerable audience.

ALRANZ Secretary, Annabel Henderson Morrell said, “The ASA agreed with us that Voice for Life in funding such an advertisement had failed to provide a due sense of social responsibility”.

“It is unethical to try to scare pregnant people out of considering an abortion by using false information and unsupported medical evidence. It is also incredibly disingenuous for the group to claim that on one hand that they care about women and then on the other employ tactics designed to alarm and shame women,” Henderson Morrell said.

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