Website punished by ASA over 'irresponsible' abortion claims

Central London Women’s Centre: censured by the ASA for misleading users
Central London Women’s Centre: censured by the ASA for misleading users

A website offering "abortion advice" has been censured by the Advertising Standards Authority for misleading users into thinking it offered termination services.

The site, www.abortionchoices.org, stated on its home page, "Considering Abortion? For an immediate appointment fill in our online booking form or call us."

It added that its "free advisory service" could offer "confidential and supportive" counsel for women, as well as "abortion alternatives".

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service complained that the claims on the website were misleading, as it was unclear that the service did not refer women directly for a termination.

The ASA also challenged the website, as it believed it gave the misleading impression that the Central London Women’s Centre (CLWC) was an abortion clinic.

The Central London Women’s Centre argued the content of the website made clear that they "helped women to consider abortion" and offered abortion "alternatives", and that clients were happy with the service they provided.

However, the ASA ruled that, as the website did not refer women for a termination, the advertising was in breach of the CAP Code.

The ASA also judged that the website was guilty of "irresponsible" behaviour, as women seeking a termination could be "unnecessarily delayed" by contacting the advertiser under the false impression that the Central London Women’s Centre was an abortion clinic

As a result, the ASA ruled that the claims must not appear again in their current form, and the Central London Women’s Centre was told to ensure its marketing made clear the "nature of the service" it offered.

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