LONDON, England - Pro-life groups in the United Kingdom are outraged over a new commercial that promotes abortion services.
Abortion provider Marie Stopes International first ran the advertisement May 24 and the commercial is set to continue airing until the end of June.
There are already more than 200,000 abortions in the U.K. every year -- a high rate in a country with a population of just more than 60 million.
Dr. Andrew Fergusson from the Christian Medical Fellowship said the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice should never have allowed the commercial to air.
"I'm really angry about this," he said. "There was a huge public consultation in Britain last year about [whether] abortion services should be advertised on television. The response was overwhelmingly negative."
Fergusson believes the campaign will make abortion a more acceptable option for vulnerable young pregnant women.
"It normalizes the idea that a woman's first response to discovering she's pregnant and didn't intend to be is to go to [an] agency that doesn't offer counseling, doesn't turn people away," he explained. "Almost everybody who goes there has an abortion."
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children is one of many pro-life groups that has launched a campaign against the ad. The group is calling on their supporters to lobby government ministers and write to their local members of parliament.
SPUC communications manager Anthony Ozimic said the abortion ad will mislead women.
"The advertisement doesn't explain what Marie Stopes is or what Marie Stopes does," he said. "Marie Stopes' business is the killing of unborn children through abortion. Ninety percent of the so-called services that they offer is in fact abortion."
Ozimic added that his group is exploring the legality of the commercial.
"There are various laws, regulations, and codes and various bodies involved... and those relationships are complicated," he said. "But there is a responsibility upon advertisers to advertise honestly and not to advertise in a way that is harmful or offensive. We believe that this advertisement is offensive."
As pro-life groups like SPUC continue their campaign against the controversial ad, there's also great concern among Christians that the commercial could lead to further promotion of abortion through the U.K. Media.