Monday, May 26, 2008

Deceptive ads ruled deceptive

Okay, anyone with their head screwed on could have called this one, as the city of Hamilton did when these ridiculous and offensive "Life Canada" ads first went up in January. It's obvious that the billboard/bus shelter ads (below), which insinuate that women routinely have abortions right up to and including 9 months' gestation, are extremely deceptive...... or as I prefer to say, a hot steaming stenchy load of fly-specked bullshit. But this week the Advertising Standards Council made it official, ruling that the ads are deceptive, false, misleading and um, well, you know... SHRIEEEEEK:
"In a bizarre (HAHAHAHA!) ruling last week, Advertising Standards Canada (ASC) rejected evidence from Statistics Canada and declared that pro-life billboards which said abortions are allowed in Canada throughout all nine months of pregnancy were "deceptive."" ("Hahas" mine) [...]

"ASC is a self-regulating body of Canada's advertising industry. It oversees the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards. The Appeal Panel, a group of unnamed members of ASC, upheld an earlier decision by another unnamed Council, supporting the complaints of three anonymous people. Two of them in identically worded complaints said the ads were "neither factual nor true." The third said they were "false, misleading and offensive.""
"False, misleading and offensive": Well, no shit Sherlock. These ads are the worst kind of propaganda, insidiously perpetuating a falsehood in order to influence public opinion. Just look at the thing -- I don't know about you, but to me that ad says women are having abortions up to the day before birth. Which is bullshit. And false, and misleading, and offensive squared.

"Life Canada" was quick to shift into damage control gear:
"Joanne Byfield, president of LifeCanada, the group behind the billboards, said the decision was unbelievable. "Our ads simply state the reality in Canada that there is no law restricting abortion at any stage of pregnancy. This ruling says it is 'deceptive' to tell Canadians that," she said."
Well, bullshit bullshit bullshit, Joanne Byfield. That ad doesn't say anything about the law -- it says women are having abortions up to the last day of their pregnancy. And that is a complete and total falsehood, and a vile, pernicious lie. Pretty standard M.O. for anti-choicers, though, who for some reason seem unable to turn public opinion in their favour any other way. And they never stop: just check out what "Life Canada" says on their own website, "Abortion in Canada":

"We created this site to mark the 20th anniversary of unrestricted legal abortion in Canada.

On January 28, 1988, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down all legal restrictions on abortion. That means that abortion is allowed throughout all nine months of pregnancy. There are provincial guidelines throughout the country on how and when abortions may be performed, but they do not have the force of law."

With "guidelines on how and when abortions may be performed", it sounds like women and doctors have the situation well in hand, so why do we need a law? There's a reason we don't have one: because we don't fucking need one. The fact that abortion rates have fallen without any intrusive legislation is ample proof of that.