Britain's first pro-abortion television commercial aired yesterday evening despite protests from the faith community and anti-abortion groups.
The advertisement, which was created by sexual health clinic Marie Stopes International, shows a series of women against superimposed text that says they are "late." While never mentioning the word abortion, the advertisement concludes by asking the viewer, "Are you late?"
Marie Stopes, which organizes a third of the 200,000 abortions performed in Britain each year, claims that the ad is meant to "confront the taboo of abortion," but others have said that the ad goes too far in selling abortion like it's "any other service."
"Abortion isn't something that should be taken lightly, and to advertise it like it's any other service is extremely concerning," Andrea Minichiello Williams of the Christian Legal Centre told BBC.
According to Williams, so-called "'family planning' is a multi-million pound industry and should not be aided by TV advertising."
Michaela Aston of the charity Life said that, "To allow abortion providers to advertise on TV, as though they were no different from car companies or detergent manufacturers, is grotesque."
"By suggesting that abortion is yet another consumer choice, it trivialises human life," Aston said, adding that the advertisement misrepresents the spirit behind Britain's 1967 Abortion Act, which legalized abortion in cases to either save a woman's life or mental health, or the wellbeing of the woman's other children.
According to Aston, the Marie Stopes ad leaves the 1967 act "twisted and distorted to allow for mass abortion on demand."
In their defense of the ad, Marie Stopes representatives said that the advertisement is "all about providing information so women have the confidence to know who they can call to reach people who will be non-judgmental."
The Marie Stopes ad was screened at 10:10 last night throughout Britain with the exception of Northern Ireland, where abortion is illegal.