Pro-Life Groups Denounce Ads for Abortion Pill
(CNSNews.com) - As abortion rights advocates prepare to run a six-month ad campaign promoting mifepristone, the abortion pill also known as RU-486, pro-life activists realize there is little they can do but remind women what the ads won't tell them.
The problem, they say, is that the print ads - which will run in Cosmopolitan, People and Vanity Fair, among other magazines - won't include details of the drug's potential side effects.
"This is extremely irresponsible to be promoting this dangerous drug without even warning women there are some consequences attached to it," said Wendy Wright, director of communications for Concerned Women for America.
The National Abortion Foundation, a professional group of abortion providers, is funding the $2-million ad campaign, which it hopes will reach more than 70 percent of women between 18 and 49 during its July-to-November run. Since the organization isn't tied to the pill's manufacturer, it doesn't have to follow FDA guidelines requiring disclosure of the drug's side effects.
"This isn't a pharmaceutical ad," NAF executive director Vicki Saporta told The Wall Street Journal. "We aren't a pharmaceutical company."
While they may not be illegal, such ad practices are misleading, pro-life supporters say.
"The sad thing for women is they won't get all the facts," said Heather Cirmo, a spokeswoman for the Family Research Council. "They're led into believing it's a quick fix.
"It's not something that just makes your baby disappear. The baby passes through you, a potentially very traumatic experience, and that's something the abortion lobby doesn't come clean with for women," she said.
The controversial ad features a woman gazing out a window, along with the words, "You have the freedom to choose. And now, you have another safe abortion choice." The ad lists a hotline run by the abortion foundation.
"This isn't really marketing, it's education," Saporta told the Journal.
Experts expected the FDA's approval of the pill last fall to revolutionize abortion practices. But with less than a third of Planned Parenthood facilities providing it nationally, and with more women rejecting the complicated procedure of multiple medical visits required for the pill, RU-486's market penetration has been modest.
That has opponents believing the ad campaign is a desperate effort to revive popularity in a fading drug - the long-term effects of which are relatively unknown, they say.
"I would surmise the National Abortion Foundation is using RU-486 as a manipulative tool to try to create the image that women can have a so-called easy abortion," Wright said.
"We don't know what this could do to you. These women are being used as the guinea pigs."
See Earlier Story:
Pro-Life Group Responds to Abortion Pill Shipment (21 Nov. 2000)