Anti-abortionists dispute ASA ruling

Jade Garrett
Wednesday 18 July 2001 00:00 BST
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Louise Thomas

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An advertisement for the anti-abortion UK Life League which implied that a full term baby could legally be killed in the womb has been branded "misleading" by the Advertising Standards Authority.

But a spokesman for the Life League disputed the watchdog's interpretation of abortion law and accused the ASA of "gross incompetence".

The spokesman said: "Whilst some people may have forgotten, a baby in certain circumstances can be aborted in the UK right up to the moment of birth.

"The 24-week limit does not apply if the woman's life would be at risk if the pregnancy continued or if there is a risk of grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman if the pregnancy continues or if there is substantial risk that the child would be born with a serious disability."

The ASA said this point had not been officially defended by the Life League.

Complaints against a second advert warning against health risks posed by the morning-after pill were also upheld on the grounds that the advertiser had not proved the dangers.

"We don't give a monkey's what the ASA says," said the Life League spokesman. The ASA hit back yesterday, warning it could prosecute through the Office of Fair Trading.

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