Friday, April 10, 2009

Archbishop Nichols calls for protests over abortion and condom ads

Action: please answer the Archbishop's call. The consultation has not been made very user-friendly but please take a moment to send something in.

All the documents you need are on this page. There is a 'cover sheet' which should accompany your submission, and a list of questions: the idea is that you select the questions you want to address and paste your responses into the document. There is also a guide to the consultation (and an 'executive summary').

Archbishop Nichols makes the very helpful points that the existing advertisment of condoms fails both 'truthfullness' and 'taste' tests: they are not truthful because they are demeaning; they are evidently distasteful. On abortion it is wrong to advertise abortion alongside ordinary goods and services because, like other medical services, but more so, it needs to be presented in a situation where there is proper information and counselling available, and not promoted as if it were a consumer item. This is why there are no adverts for medical products or practicioners in the UK: it is bizarre that it should be proposed to make abortion an exception. It is scandalous that the opportunity should be given to pro-abortion counselling services and not pro-life ones: there cannot be any justification for that. It is simply a matter of the Advertising Code taking a view on the what kind of advice women should be getting.

From CFNews: The Rev Vincent Nichols, Archbishop-designate of Westminster, has urged Catholics in England and Wales to oppose plans put forward to allow abortion services to advertise on television and radio.

The Archbishop also called on Catholics to make their opposition known to proposals to relax rules restricting the advertising of condoms on television.
Appointed as the new Archbishop of Westminster by the Pope last Friday, he said current television advertising for condoms 'demeaned' young people by depicting 'casual sex on the street corner' and 'drunken sex'.

He urged Catholics to respond to a consultation exercise on the proposed changes, saying that the country would not expect abortion to be advertised 'alongside a packet of crisps'.

Archbishop Nichols said: 'I would appeal to Catholics to respond to the consultation and two of the principles put forward are that advertisements should be truthful and tasteful.

'I doubt that any intended adverts about abortion would be fully truthful and tell the whole truth of the effects of abortion in a woman's life. I seriously wonder if any advertisements for the use of condoms would be tasteful because the ones we have at the moment are demeaning of the young people of this country.
'They depict casual sex on the street corner and drunken sex. I do not think these things do anything to genuinely help young people to understand themselves in their own dignity and in the proper meaning of what human sexuality is about.'

Under the terms of the proposals, adverts for pregnancy advisory services could be allowed in prime-time evening slots on the major channels and radio but advertisers would have to stipulate if the service does not refer women directly for abortion.

Condoms could be advertised on television before the 9pm watershed.

Currently Channel 4 is the only channel with permission to advertise condoms from 7pm.

The proposals would mean that for the first time pregnancy advisory services advertisements that were not Government approved would be permitted on broadcast media. [Telegraph]

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Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen