Complaint against Pro-Life Ad Dismissed

NEWS RELEASE Jan. 11, 2011

Complaint Against Pro-Life Ad Dismissed

Advertising Standards Canada (ASC) has dismissed a complaint made against a TV ad aired by the New Brunswick Right to Life Association. The ad, entitled "Lifesaver," aired over 200 times in October and November. It featured a female firefighter expressing thanks that her mother’s choice in favor of life before she was born now enabled her to save lives. In November an anonymous complainant to ASC alleged the ad violated the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards. It was argued, for instance, that the ad "discriminates against women by indirectly shaming women who choose abortion." NB Right to Life was forced to respond, or risk a ruling that could have prevented the ad from airing in the future.

In its submission to ASC, the association maintained that "If an ad this low-key is unacceptable, then any pro-life ad connected to the issue of abortion must be considered unacceptable. If that were the case, it would be a manifestly unfair suppression of free speech."

The Right to Life group denied the charge of discrimination, pointing out that while the ad praises one woman’s choice to continue her pregnancy, "it implies no condemnation of women who have made other choices." Following the pro-life submission, the complainant did not seek a review of the matter by ASC’s Consumer Response Council. Therefore ASC closed its file on the issue. "We are relieved," said Right to Life executive director Peter Ryan. "The complaint was over the top. A mischievous threat to pro-life freedom of speech has been thwarted." The ad may be viewed at www.nbrighttolife.ca

Contact: Peter Ryan 506-459-8990 Peter Ryan Executive Director New Brunswick Right to Life Association Fredericton NB Tel. 506-459-8990 / 1-888-796-9600

"Life for All. Love for All."

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