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Complaint against Canadian pro-life ad dismissed

LifeSiteNews.com

FRDERICTON, New Brunswick, January 11, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Advertising Standards Canada (ASC) has dismissed a complaint made against a “low-key” pro-life TV ad aired by the New Brunswick Right to Life Association.

The ad, entitled “Lifesaver,” aired over 200 times in October and November. It featured a female firefighter thanking her mother for choosing life, a choice that has now enabled her to save lives.

In November an anonymous complainant to ASC alleged the ad violated the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards. It was argued that the ad “discriminates against women by indirectly shaming women who choose abortion.” NB Right to Life was forced to respond, or risk a ruling that could have prevented the ad from airing in the future.

In its submission to ASC, NB Right to Life maintained that “If an ad this low-key is unacceptable, then any pro-life ad connected to the issue of abortion must be considered unacceptable. If that were the case, it would be a manifestly unfair suppression of free speech.”

The Right to Life group denied the charge of discrimination, pointing out that while the ad praises one woman’s choice to continue her pregnancy, “it implies no condemnation of women who have made other choices.”

Following the pro-life submission, the complainant did not seek a review of the matter by ASC’s Consumer Response Council. Therefore ASC closed its file on the issue.

“We are relieved,” said NB Right to Life executive director Peter Ryan. “The complaint was over the top. A mischievous threat to pro-life freedom of speech has been thwarted.”

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