Voice for Life is welcoming today’s commonsense ruling from the NZ Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that it has rejected an attempt by Terry Bellamak, head of the Abortion Law Reform Association of NZ (ALRANZ), to silence public debate on Labour’s extreme abortion Bill.
Bellamak submitted an offical complaint calling Voice For Life’s billboard (pictured below) on Cuba Street in Wellington “offensive” and claiming that it violated rules around ‘social responsibility’, ‘decency and offensiveness’ and ‘truthful presentation.’
The complaint was rejected by the Chair of the ASA, who strongly stated that: “political commentary within advertising was not only acceptable but encouraged, as it is an essential and desirable part of the functioning of a democratic society.”
The Chair then emphasised this important point by also stating: “…in a free and democratic society, differences of political opinion should be openly debated without undue hindrance or interference from authorities…”
“It is extremely concerning to see that the head of the country’s most vocal abortion lobby group attempting to use offical mechanisms like the ASA to silence dissent about Labour’s extreme abortion Bill” says Voice for Life media spokesperson Kate Cormack.
“The fact that Terry Bellamak is calling it offensive to display an ultrasound image of an unborn child along with the statement ‘Both lives matter, both deserve better than an extreme abortion law’ is simply unbelievable.”
“What makes this failed attempt to suppress legitimate freedom of expression all the more astounding is that it is coming from an organisation who claims that we should ‘trust women’. Yet here they are trying to deny Kiwi women access to all the information about this abortion Bill” says Kate Cormack.