CHARLOTTETOWN, Prince Edward Island, December 19, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The PEI Right to Life Association is not backing down after the Advertising Standards Council (ASC) gave a negative ruling about its full-page newspaper ad informing islanders of the many ways abortion “harms women”.

“I believe that the complaint was made to the ASC, because our ad was so effective and so well done that the opposition was concerned that it would convince a lot of people to think twice about being pro-choice,” Ann Marie Tomlins, spokesperson of the PEI Right to Life Association, told LifeSiteNews.com.

The ad, appearing in the Charlottetown Guardian in October, featured a beautiful woman wearing a form-fitting white sweater that showcased her pregnant belly. “Love them Both,” the title stated.

The ad provided a variety of facts and figures about how abortion negatively affects women. It also outlined various ways that politicians, schools, doctors, and “pro-woman advocates” could help create a culture of life.

The ASC deemed three statements made in the ad by the pro-life association to be inaccurate:

1) “Abortion is never necessary to save a woman’s life”;
2) “The present legal vacuum does nothing more than permit abortion on demand”; and
3) “There is strong evidence linking abortion to breast cancer”.

Joyce Arthur’s Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada quickly claimed victory.

“To refute the claims, the Council cited ‘credible, authoritative medical reports’ for #1, the CMA’s [Canadian Medical Association] policy on induced abortion for #2, and the Canadian Cancer Society’s position for #3,” the pro-abortion group stated on its Facebook page.

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Tomlins said that her organization is standing behind its statements. “I think that this is an attempt to discredit us because they’re afraid that we’ll do more ads,” she said.

Tomlins was not surprised by the ASC ruling, pointing out that the ASC has a history of ruling against pro-life organizations who reveal the truth about abortion through ads.

A search through ASC’s database for complaints against pro-life ads resulted in six cases since 2008, all of which were rulings against pro-life organizations running pro-life ads.

In a 2010 complaint against Regina Pro-Life for running an ad on a city bus that read “Abortion. The Ultimate Child Abuse,” the ASC ruled that it was “incorrect and inappropriate to equate a legal medical procedure with extreme child abuse”.

“Council found, therefore, that the unqualified claim made in the advertisement was untrue,” the group stated. “Council also found that equating abortion with extreme child abuse, as in this advertisement, both demeaned and disparaged women who have had abortions, thereby bringing them into public contempt”.

In October of this year, the ASC ruled against Alliance For Life Ontario for being “misleading” and “demean[ing] and denigrat[ing to] women” in its pro-life TV commercial. The commercial stated that Canada has “tolerated 43 years of abortion” that has resulted in “3.5 million missing children, teens and young adults”.

Tomlins said that the claims in her organization’s newspaper ad are verifiable.

1) “Abortion is never necessary to save a woman’s life”.

Former U.S. Surgeon General Charles Everett Koop called abortion to protect the life of a mother a “smoke screen”.

“In my 36 years of pediatric surgery I have never known of one instance where the child had to be aborted to save the mother’s life,” he wrote. “If toward the end of the pregnancy complications arise that threaten the mother’s health, the doctor will either induce labor or perform a Caesarian section. His intention is to save the life of both the mother and the baby. The baby’s life is never willfully destroyed because the mother’s life is in danger.”

An international group of 140 obstetricians and other physicians meeting in Dublin in September of this year issued a statement confirming that abortion is never “medically necessary” for women.

“As experienced practitioners and researchers in obstetrics and gynecology,” the declaration said, “we affirm that direct abortion is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman”.

2) “The present legal vacuum does nothing more than permit abortion on demand”.

In 1988 — following the legal challenges by Dr. Henry Morgentaler, the operator of an illegal abortion clinic in Quebec — the Supreme Court of Canada struck down section 251 of the Criminal Code that governed abortion, declaring it unconstitutional. This effectively left Canada without any law on abortion, allowing the procedure to be legal throughout all nine months of pregnancy, for any reason, up till the moment of birth.

3) “There is strong evidence linking abortion to breast cancer”.

The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons published a study in 2007 by Patrick Carroll, M.A. titled “The Breast Cancer Epidemic,” which stated that among seven risk factors, abortion is the “best predictor of breast cancer”.

In 2009, Chinese researchers at the Department of Oncology at the First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University found a 17 percent increased risk of breast cancer among women who had experienced induced abortions.

A study conducted by Dr. Vahit Ozmen at the Istanbul University Medical Faculty in 2009 reported a 66 percent increase risk of breast cancer among women who had experienced induced abortions. The researchers wrote that their finding is similar to the findings of the “majority” of studies, which have “reported that induced abortion was associated with increased breast cancer risk”.

Tomlins told LifeSiteNews that she plans to appeal the ASC decision.

Contact:

Advertising Standards Canada
175 Bloor Street East,
South Tower, Suite 1801
Toronto, ON M4W 3R8
Phone: (416) 961-6311

Linda J. Nagel, President and CEO
Phone: (416) 961-7904 (ext) 222
Nagel’s online e-mail form.

Janet Feasby, Vice-President, Standards
Phone: (416) 961-7904 (ext) 243
Feasby’s online e-mail form.