House of Lords written question – answered on 6th February 2012.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government who made the decision to permit for-profit organisations to advertise abortion services on radio and television; what assessment was made of any previous complaints about the advertising of abortion-related services on television and radio; whether the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, other Ministers in his department, and officials in that department, were consulted; and, if so, what response they gave.

Photo of Baroness Garden of Frognal Baroness Garden of Frognal Lords Spokesperson (Department for Culture, Media and Sport), Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

There has been no change in the rules allowing abortion advertising on television. The advertising rule changes recently announced relate to the provision of post-conception advice services.

The rules on the broadcast advertising of post-conception advice services are the responsibility of the advertising regulators, Ofcom, the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). These bodies are independent and they set the standards for all broadcast advertising. The Government had no role in making these changes.

BCAP undertook two public consultations on proposed changes to these rules and has carefully considered all the responses it received both for and against its proposed changes. BCAP's evaluation of these responses can be found at: http://www.cap.org.uk/CAP-and-BCAP-Consultations/Closed-consultations/BCAP-Consultation-on-PCAS.aspx.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport did not formally respond to the consultations.

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