LONDON, UK, Jan. 11, 2013 (LifeSiteNew.com) - Facebook is defending itself after allowing an advertiser to target young British women with ads for abortion providers, reports The Telegraph.

Reporter Willard Foxton writes that women were “startled” to awake New Year’s Day to ads for Abortion.com, a U.S.-based international directory of abortion facilities.

“Find an abortion provider near you,” the ad stated, listing a U.S. toll-free phone number.

The website is focused on the U.S., but also lists abortion facilities in the U.K., Canada, and New Zealand. It lists only one facility in the U.K., however, called “Abortion Support Network.”

When Foxton questioned Facebook, they said ads for abortion providers are allowed under their policies.

“Advertising of Post-Conception Advice Services (PCAS) is permitted under Facebook’s rules, just as it is in print and broadcast media in the UK,” said a spokesperson. “Unlike other media, if people don’t like an advert they see on Facebook they are able to dismiss it by clicking ‘X’ on the corner of the ad.”

LifeSiteNews.com did not hear back from Facebook by press time.

The social media giant has come under fire from pro-life activists in recent years for a perceived pro-abortion bias.

The site has consistently censored graphic images of abortion – even suspending pro-lifers’ accounts. The most recent victim was former Saturday Night Live star Victoria Jackson.

Yet in February 2012 they allowed a post by Women on Waves founder Rebecca Gomperts that gave instructions on how to obtain a do-it-yourself chemical abortion. The process involved lying to a pharmacist to get the needed drugs.

Kristan Hawkins, executive director of Students for Life of America, said this type of advertising has sadly become “common place.”

“We know the abortion industry targets young women on a daily basis; now it’s just on their Facebook homepages,” she said. “It’s pretty simple to target ads to a certain demographic on Facebook - you can choose your keywords for your Facebook ads to those of a particular age, in one gender, who like chocolate ice cream, if you like.”

She said the most interesting part is that it was deemed a story by British media.

It shows “the mainstream media in Great Britain is even recognizing that something is wrong with just casually advertising for abortion,” she explained. “While the majority in Great Britain may say they are for abortion, they know in their hearts there is something wrong with it. The human conscience hasn’t changed.”

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