Life Office criticises advertiser's gag on abortion debate

The Respect Life Office of the Archdiocese of Perth has condemned the decision of the Australia's leading outdoor advertiser, APN Outdoor, to ban the subject of abortion from its billboards while the country is debating the abortion pill RU-486.

Respect Life Office (RLO) executive director Clare Pike said that the Office last week sought to display billboard images which highlight the trauma many women experience after abortion. The office was initially told by phone that their request was rejected by top management because the images were considered "political in nature" and "offensive."

In later written correspondence the RLO was informed that the images could not be displayed because 'RU-486 is currently being debated by the Australian Government.'

Miss Pike said it is "staggering" that matters being considered by the Government could be classified as beyond debate for the general public, particularly as this matter would be open to a conscience vote and was therefore "not even 'party political'".

She maintains that the RLO's campaign was not intended to make a political statement.

"These images are about the pain women are suffering and should be a concern for both pro-life and pro-choice proponents," she said. "This message was not attacking any person or opinion. It was simply the revelation of one woman's pain to awaken West Australians to the harmful effects of abortion and RU-486."

Miss Pike said the RLO is well aware of the devastation abortion can cause women because it provides post-abortion healing and therapy through a program called Project Rachel. Many women seeking help had experienced substance abuse, anxiety, sleep disorders, suicidal thoughts, psychiatric illness, risk-taking behaviour and relationship problems as a result of their abortion.

Compounding these struggles was the sense that nobody recognizes or cares about their trauma. Some women have recently begun to bravely speak out. "Imagine" said Miss Pike, "how these post-abortive women will feel when they are told that speaking about their pain is "offensive," a word the Oxford Dictionary defines as 'aggressive; insulting; disgusting and nauseous'!"

Women's abortion pain deemed offensive (Respect Life Office, Archdiocese of Perth 31/1/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Archdiocese of Perth - Respect Life Office
APN Outdoor
Project Rachel

Churches lead RU406 protest (CathNews 30/1/06)
Day of action to fight abortion drug move (CathNes 27/1/06)
Melbourne Archbishop says maintain abortion drug ban (CathNews 25/1/06)
Pope says 'no' to gay marriage, abortion pill (CathNews 13/1/06)
Catholic Health to address abortion pill inquiry (CathNews 15/12/06)

1 Feb 2006