Pro-life groups welcome dismissal of anti-abortion poster complaints

A billboard put up by pro-life lobby group Both Lives Matter. Picture from Both Lives Matter, Press Association

PRO-LIFE groups have welcomed the dismissal of complaints about an anti-abortion campaign.

Objections had been lodged with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after a billboard campaign by the Both Lives Matter group claimed 100,000 lives had been saved due to the north's strict abortion laws.

The ASA said the "evidence indicated that there was a reasonable probability that around 100,000 people were alive in Northern Ireland today who would have otherwise been aborted had it been legal to do so".

Cora Sherlock, of the Pro Life Campaign in Dublin said Tuesday's finding was a "wonderful vindication" for Both Lives Matter.

"The fact that people travel abroad for abortions is of course an immense tragedy but if abortions were performed here the numbers would be considerably higher," she said.

"We definitely need to reflect on all this as a society."

Christian Action Research Education (Care) called for a review of abortion laws in Britain.

Nola Leach, Chief Executive of Care, said: "Some people have tried to suggest that Northern Ireland's abortion law is reactionary and too strict".

"These figures demonstrate quite the reverse," she said. "The Northern Ireland law should be celebrated and upheld as a model of international best practice. It has saved lives."

However, pro-choice campaigner Fiona Ferguson from People Before Profit said she remains concerned about the billboard campaign.

"It's nice for them (Both Lives Matter) to have a round figure to put on a billboard but it completely sweeps the nuances of the abortion issue under the carpet," she said.

"How many of those births resulted in the death of the mother?"

Ms Ferguson said the campaign did not address the reasons why women seek an abortion.

"What it does is promote our abortion laws, which are dangerous," she said.

"It also creates a class divide between women who can afford to travel for an abortion and those who can't."

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