United for truth, women senators need your help

Submitted by The GetUp Team on Tue, 24/04/2007 - 10:40

Most of us take it for granted that businesses aren't allowed to deceive and mislead us in their advertising. But if someone you care about is ever faced with an unplanned pregnancy, watch out.

Consumer protection regulations already prohibit false advertising, but a loophole in the law allows pregnancy counsellors who don't charge a fee to say whatever they like in ads they place in doctors' offices, police stations, magazines, online and in the phone book. This means women are being actively deceived by counselling agencies with a philosophical position on abortion.

Whatever our personal views, we all have the right to make an informed choice about who to go to for help if faced with an unplanned pregnancy. Thankfully, four courageous women senators are working across party lines to close this loophole, but they urgently need public support. Take a stand for truth in advertising where the public, and the politicians, will be sure to see it: in the press. We've set up a new functionality that allows you to write a letter today direct to newspaper editors across the nation. Just click on the link to write a short note to your editor today.

http://www.getup.org.au/campaign/JoinVoicesForTransparency

When GetUp and Reproductive Choice Australia began this campaign last year, nearly 20,000 of you signed the petition to stop the deception. We took your concerns to Parliament House and then two inquiries; your support led to exposure in national media and helped empower a new coalition of women senators to join forces. Now we need your help again to make this win for women a reality. Here are the facts:

The Pregnancy Counselling (Truth in Advertising) Bill 2006 has been co-sponsored by Senators Natasha Stott-Despoja (Democrats), Judith Troeth (Liberal), Carol Brown (Labor) and Kerry Nettle (Greens) - and you can read it for yourself on our website. It requires all agencies to disclose in their advertising whether or not they refer for termination of pregnancy, and applies fines to those who fail to advertise transparently.

It's pretty commonsense, yet the political will inside the Liberal and Labor parties is faltering - even though the need for transparency has never been greater, with Tony Abbott's $15.5 million national "Pregnancy Helpline" set to launch next Tuesday. It's time to get your voice heard: write a letter to the editor today and ask for truth in advertising to be extended to all Australians, not just some. If you like you can also contact decision-makers with the power to see the Bill succeed. And to share this campaign with others who might have something to say, there's a note you can use below, or you can donate to this campaign here.

http://www.getup.org.au/campaign/JoinVoicesForTransparency

Thanks for taking action,

The GetUp team
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