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This Anti-Abortion Advertisement Breached Broadcast Standards

Turns out abortion is a political issue.

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An ad created by anti-abortion group Emily's Voice has been found to breach broadcasting law by Australia's telecommunications watchdog.

Emily's Voice/YouTube / Via

The advertisement was broadcast by Network Ten last September and followed tradie and father Gavin, who encouraged viewers to participate in the Emily's Voice campaign Not Born Yet.

At the end of the advertisement Gavin, his wife and their seven children hold up ultrasound pictures of a fetus.

Emily's Voice/YouTube / Via

The Australian Communications and Media Authority ruled the advertisement was a "political matter" which sought to influence people's personal choices, as the content suggested "expecting parents should continue with pregnancy".

Advertisements for political issues must contain information about who authorised the ad, and the name of every person who speaks during it. The Emily's Voice advertisement contained neither.

"[Emily's Voice] encourages Australian citizens to ‘vote for political candidates who value the unborn’," the authority said.

After a public backlash about the campaign – which included stories from other fathers and women who said they regretted their abortion – Emily's Voice chief executive Paul O'Rourke made a statement via the group's blog in which he compared abortion to abuse, drink driving and dancing naked in the street.

"We tell women, and men, all the time what they can and cannot do with their bodies.

"You can drink yourself to a stupor, but not drive a vehicle in such a condition; get angry, but not abuse others; smoke yourself to death, but not at the kids’ school, your workplace (even the pub and brothel); dance naked around your house, but not in the main street of town."

The group celebrated recently when bills in Queensland to decriminalise abortion were withdrawn from parliament.

Gina Rushton is a breaking news reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

Contact Gina Rushton at

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