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The decision last night attracted criticism from pro-life campaigners, who said it risked trivialising terminations by putting them on the same footing as consumer choices such as different brands of car or detergent.
Until now, only not-for-profit organisations have been permitted to use television and radio to advertise family planning services, such as advice on unplanned pregnancies. Under the new rules, announced yesterday by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP), commercial enterprises will be allowed to do the same.
The two bodies, responsible for Britain’s advertising codes, said it had become impossible to justify not allowing companies to advertise because the services they offer are legal. However, campaigners warned that it could lead to a flood of advertising campaigns which would diminish the seriousness of terminating pregnancies and lead to a rise in abortions