Media Release from Voice for Life
1 st September, 2016
The Advertising Standards Authority Complaints Board has ruled there are no grounds for a complaint against a Voice for Life advert to proceed.
In mid-May, full-page advertisements showing two sleeping babies with a puppy appeared in the NZ Herald, Dominion Post, NZ Listener, Capital Magazine and various regional and local papers.
The wording on the advert said: “What if 500,000 Kiwis just disappeared? Could we have saved them?”
A map of NZ showed the cities and towns that have a combined population of 500,000. The advert ended with these words: “Voice for Life believes abortion is wrecking NZ’s future. It kills babies who could enjoy life and a future with loving parents.”
The complainant argued:
“Killing a baby is not comparable to having an abortion, but this is what is explicitly claimed in the Voice for Life ad. As abortion is a medical procedure, advertising campaigns should reflect this in their terminology.
“The advert also claims that abortion rates are causing an aging population. There is no evidence of this. The Voice for Life advert is statistically false and misleading readers.
The Chair of the ASA cited Rule 11 on Advocacy Advertising and noted that Voice for Life’s “strongly held views on abortion were allowed for and in the context of advocacy there was nothing in the advertisement to reach the threshold to cause serious or widespread offence.”
“In conclusion, when the advertisement was considered in its entirety, it as clearly an advocacy advertisement presented from a particular perspective and was unlikely to mislead consumers. She ruled the advert was not in breach of the Code of Ethics and had been prepared with a due sense of social responsibility required by Basic Principle 4 of the Code.”
Comment from Voice for Life’s national president Bernard Moran
“We welcome the ASA’s common sense ruling.”
“The complainant appears to argue that abortion as a medical procedure doesn’t take the life of the pre-born baby and therefore 500,000 abortions have no impact on why NZ has an aging population.”
“We wanted New Zealanders to be aware of this milestone of 500,000 abortions and what it represents for our society. But at the same we suggested a positive and humane way forward – the promotion of Open Adoption.”
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