Anti-abortion advertising removed from Newcastle bus
AN anti-abortion advertisement has been removed from the side of a Newcastle bus after Transport Minister Andrew Constance commented on social media that he was ‘appalled’ it was allowed to appear on the public network. Keolis Downer, the company that runs Newcastle’s bus system, said it ‘acted immediately’ to remove the advertising after discovering it was linked to the pro-life movement, Emily’s Voice.
“Advertising must comply with Transport for NSW content standards and guidelines”, a statement from the company said.
Images of the bus, provided by Emily’s Voice, show the group’s logo on the advertisement, as well as the URL for its website Not Born Yet – accompanied by the phrase “A heart beats at four weeks”.
MP Andrew Constance [Transport Minister], wrote “I’ve instructed that this ad and any similar collateral be removed immediately”.
A Newcastle man said he complained out of concern for the women seeing the bus who had used abortion services.
“It’s a guilt driven directive on what to do with their body”, he said.
Paul O’Rourke, the CEO of Emily’s Voice, which is based in Toowoomba, said the advertisement was part of a campaign to “help Australians fall in love with the unborn”.
“There are Govt campaigns to reduce smoking, the road toll, cancer and heart disease. Surely there’s a place to reduce abortion which claims more Aussie lives each year than any other cause?” he said.
“We are seeking to restart and reshape the life conversation in a sensible, sensitive way free of guilt and condemnation so women make an informed choice.”
Source: Newcastle Herald
Comment: The censoring of the advert occurred on the eve of a parliamentary vote on a bill to decriminalise abortion, which was not presented as a policy at the time of election and tabled by an independent MP with the full support of the Health minister.
The bill tabled had few qualifiers to protect against late-term abortion and the Health minister sought to rush it through without too much debate.
Apparently debate was being avoided over one of the most important possible issues.