CHARLOTTETOWN, Prince Edward Island, January 31, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Advertising Standards Council (ASC) of Canada has decided to drop a complaint against the PEI Right to Life Association regarding a full-page newspaper ad that informed islanders of the many ways abortion “harms women.” The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada had a breached confidentiality protocol, according to the ASC.
“It’s as if [the complaint] hadn’t happened,” an ASC spokesperson told LifeSiteNews.com. “Under the procedure, that is what ASC is obliged to do.”
The ad, appearing in the Charlottetown Guardian last 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 spokesperson noted that the case was dropped because the ASC code of operation states that “Council shall decline to accept, or to proceed further with, a complaint, or any part thereof, where it is of the opinion that: e) the complainant is abusing this Consumer Complaint Procedure by having as one of the complainant’s primary intentions to generate publicity for a cause or issue.”
Joyce Arthur’s Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada claimed victory last December after the ASC deemed as inaccurate three statements made in the pro-life ad.
Arthur told the CBC at that time that she originally filed the complaint to ASC because she found the ad “unbelievable” and “chock full of inaccuracies and just crazy statements, demeaning implications about women [sic].”
The confidential content of ASC’s negative decision against the PEI Right to Life ad was found on the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada’s Facebook page.
The Abortion Rights Coalition prematurely stated at that time on Face Book that ASC’s initial ruling meant that PEI Right to Life “must amend or permanently withdraw the ad. Hooray!”
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When PEI Right to Life responded that it would appeal the decision, the abortion group publicly derided the pro-life association on Face Book as “Speaking from some far-flung planet” and “stubbornly stand[ing] by their lies”.
Ann Marie Tomlins, spokesperson of the PEI Right to Life Association, told LifeSiteNews that while she was “happy” that the case had been “thrown out”, she also had a “mixed reaction” because the decision meant that the pro-life association had been denied the appeal process to prove that their ad was “totally factual and not in any way misleading”.
“Despite the appeal opportunity having been taken away from us, we’re happy to see that the case has been thrown out. Our ad stands. And now anyone who wishes to print it in newspapers across the country is welcome to do so”.
Tomlins said that “absolutely nothing” would be changed in the ad if it were to run again.
She called Arther’s move to discredit the ad by issuing a complaint to the ASC a “great disservice to women who have a right to information and to unborn babies who deserve a chance at life”.
“The beautiful thing is that she was not successful in discrediting us, nor will she ever be”, Tomlins said.