Watchdog bans Christian advert that claims cervical cancer vaccine causes infertility
Last updated at 12:01 AM on 28th January 2009
A Christian advert which suggested the cervical cancer vaccine would make teenagers sterile has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority.
Christian Voice believes the HPV vaccine will increase teen sex and cause a surge in sexually-transmitted infections that cause infertility.
It placed an advert in New Statesman magazine which claimed: ‘Now we have the disaster of teenage infertility. Every Government initiative, including the HPV vaccine, will increase it, but as all the targets revolve around pregnancy, no-one in power knows how many young people they are making sterile and nobody cares.'
A 14-year-old girl reacts when injected with cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil
'There is a Biblical principle that we reap what we sow... What politicians sow, the people reap.
'When politicians sow evil, the people reap misery, and the poorest reap it the worst'.
Text at the bottom of the ad stated "Christian Voice. Working for Godly government; praying for national repentance".
The advertising watchdog began an investigation after one complaint.
It found the advert breached codes on truthfulness, substantiation and principles.
The ASA said: ‘We considered that the [HPV] claim was a statement of fact that was a matter open to substantiation.
The advert in New Statesman magazine claimed the cervical cancer vaccine would make teenagers sterile
‘Because we had not seen robust, scientific evidence that the HPV vaccine caused infertility in teenagers, we concluded that the claim had not been substantiated and was misleading.
‘The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Christian Voice not to repeat the implied claim that the HPV vaccine would result in teenage infertility.'
During the investigation, Christian Voice’s Stephen
Green said: ‘It is preposterous for the ASA to think
they can outlaw Christian freedom of speech.’
Christian Voice argued that increased STIs, abortions and teenage pregnancies had followed Government policy on teenage sexuality, and that the claim was an expression of their opinion, protected by the Human Rights Act.
'We shall keep telling Government and the teen sex industry that they are betraying young people in this country and that only God's ways of chastity and fidelity will halt the rise in teenage pregnancies and infertility,' Mr Green said.
'It is a good job the Advertising Standards Authority was not around when the Old Testament was written, or we would be missing half the Christmas story.
'The ASA would have wanted Isaiah to substantiate his claim that "a virgin shall conceive and shall bear a son".
'It is simple common sense to realise that with the HPV vaccine, girls will think they are covered against everything, especially if they are on the pill as well, so promiscuity will rise and there will be even more gonorrhoea and chlamydia cases and even more infertility.'
The advert, headlined Violent Crime - Sowing And Reaping, also blamed the abolition of the death penalty, divorce and working mothers for the 'shocking callousness and brutality in society of which the growing trend of violent deaths of teenagers is the starkest evidence'.