Marie Stopes International launches national campaign to raise awareness of sexual health and confront the taboo of abortion
For the first time ever, a commercial for unplanned pregnancy and abortion advisory services will be aired on British television. The commercial, to be screened first on Channel 4 at 10.10pm on 24th May 2010, is part of a new campaign by Marie Stopes International, the UK’s leading provider of sexual health services outside of the NHS.
The ground breaking commercial was created by Marie Stopes International after independent research showed that only 42%1 of UK adults stated that they would know where to go for specialist advice (other than going to their GP) if they or their partner were faced with an unplanned pregnancy. The survey also showed that over three quarters of UK adults (76%)2 agree that commercials about unplanned pregnancy advice services should be allowed on TV within appropriate broadcasting times.
Despite the fact that one in three women will have an abortion in their lifetime3, the subject is still not always openly, or honestly, discussed. While there is a lot of information about abortion available unfortunately not all of it is accurate or impartial. Marie Stopes International works to improve public understanding of unplanned pregnancy and abortion, and to help women make confident, informed sexual health choices.
The campaign asks 'Are you late?' - a question familiar to any woman who has missed her period, and directs women facing unplanned pregnancy to Marie Stopes International’s 24hr helpline, where they can receive non-judgemental support, advice and services. The commercial will air on Channel 4 from May 24th and throughout June.
In 2008, 215,975 abortions were performed in the UK – of which 195,2964 were for women resident in England and Wales. In this same period, 1,173 women were forced to travel at their own expense to England from Northern Ireland, where abortion remains largely unavailable. In 2009, Marie Stopes International performed about one in three of all abortions carried out in England and Wales.
Dana Hovig, Marie Stopes International's CEO said:
"Last year alone we received 350,000 calls to our 24 hour helpline. Clearly there are hundreds of thousands of women who want and need sexual health information and advice, and access to services. Marie Stopes International provides such support in a safe, non-judgemental environment. We hope the new ‘Are you late?’ campaign will encourage people to talk about abortion more openly and honestly, and empower women to make confident, informed choices about their sexual health."
For help and advice, call 0845 300 3737 (24 hours) or visit www.mariestopes.org.uk
For further information, interviews or stills from the commercial, please contact: email@example.com or call 020 7413 3769/ 3490/ 3764
1 YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2096 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 9th - 11th February 2010. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).
2 YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2096 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 9th - 11th February 2010. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).
3 Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion, Evidence-based Clinical Guideline Number 7, September 2004, available at: http://www.rcog.org.uk/files/rcog-corp/uploaded-files/NEBInducedAbortionfull.pdf
4 The Department of Health, Statistical Bulletin, Abortion Statistics England and Wales: 2008, released 21st May 2009, available at: http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_099714.pdf
Notes to Editors
Marie Stopes International (MSI) is a specialist not-for-profit organisation providing expert and confidential care and support to men and women of all ages in relation to their sexual and health.
It has nine centres across the country delivering services in contraception, abortion, female sterilisation, vasectomy and health screening. It works in partnership with the NHS, supporting over 70 Primary Care Trusts to provide sexual health services.
For further information visit www.mariestopes.org.uk