ASA: No grounds for complaint about pro-life billboard


The NZ Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has rejected a complaint by Terry Bellamak about a pro-life billboard.

Bellamak is the head of the Abortion Law Reform Association of NZ (ALRANZ).

Bellamak submitted an official complaint calling Voice For Life’s (VFL) billboard (pictured above) on Cuba Street in Wellington “offensive” and claiming that it violated rules around ‘social responsibility’, ‘decency and offensiveness’ and ‘truthful presentation.’

The complaint was rejected by the Chair of the ASA, who stated that: “political commentary within advertising was not only acceptable but encouraged, as it is an essential and desirable part of the functioning of a democratic society.” 

The Chair went on to say: “in a free and democratic society, differences of political opinion should be openly debated without undue hindrance or interference from authorities”

“It is extremely concerning to see that the head of the country’s most vocal abortion lobby group attempting to use official mechanisms like the ASA to silence dissent about Labour’s extreme abortion bill” says VFL media spokesperson Kate Cormack.

“The fact that Terry Bellamak is calling it offensive to display an ultrasound image of an unborn child along with the statement ‘Both lives matter, both deserve better than an extreme abortion law’ is simply unbelievable.”

“What makes this failed attempt to suppress legitimate freedom of expression all the more astounding is that it is coming from an organisation who claims that we should ‘trust women’.

Yet here they are trying to deny Kiwi women access to all the information about this abortion bill” says Cormack.

The New Zealand parliament is currently considering an Abortion Legislation Bill that would decriminalise abortion.

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News category: New Zealand, Top Story.

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