A TV advertisement giving advice on unplanned pregnancy and explaining how to get an abortion will be aired for the first time next week in the U.K.
The advertisement, paid for by the Maria Stopes Organization, which is a non-governmental group specializing in sexual and reproductive health, is aimed at breaking one of society's last taboos.
"Research indicates that 42 percent of adults have no idea where to go — apart from their GP — for specialist advice about an unplanned pregnancy, even though one in three women in the U.K. will have an abortion in their lifetime," Judy Douglas, from Maria Stopes, told Sky News Online.
The subject is still not always openly or honestly discussed, the organization argues, saying it is time to improve public understanding to help women become more confident and informed when it comes to sexual health.
"Abortion has been legal in this country for more than 40 years and we believe it is time to open up the debate," Douglas said. "Sex education is very patchy and mixed messages are often sent out. Keeping things under wraps is part of the British culture so it's time to improve things."
The ‘Are You Late?’ campaign will encourage people to talk about their choices, including abortion, more openly and honestly, Dana Hovig, Marie Stopes International's CEO, said.
Not everyone thinks the advertisement is a good idea. Anti-abortion campaign ‘Pro Life’ does not approve.
"The purpose of an abortion commercial is clearly to 'sell' abortion and it will not provide full information about fetal development, the abortion procedure itself, the health risks which abortion poses for women, let alone the alternatives to abortion," the charity said. "This is hardly conducive to making the 'informed sexual health choices' which Marie Stopes claims to provide."
Figures for 2008 indicate nearly 216,000 abortions were carried out in the U.K.