Watchdog to investigate abortion service ads

The UK’s first television advertisement for an abortion service provider is to be formally investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after attracting more than 1,000 complaints.

The ad for Marie Stopes International, a sexual healthcare services charity, launched in May and offers women advice if they think they are pregnant and are “not sure what to do”.

A spokesman for the ASA says it is investigating claims that the ad is offensive, promotes abortion and encourages promiscuity.

The decision to allow the ad to air attracted criticism from pro-life charity Life, which labelled the ruling “grotesque”. A number of MPs also challenged ASA claims that the ad promoted “post-contraception” advice, already allowed on TV, and not abortion services.

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