John Weekes

John Weekes is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Anti-abortionists give plastic foetuses to kids

Young boys were seen running around with plastic foetuses.
Young boys were seen running around with plastic foetuses.

Parents are outraged after an anti-abortion stall gave their children plastic foetuses at an A&P show.

On Thursday, anti-abortion groups teamed up to exhibit at the the Canterbury A&P Show on a Voice for Life and ProLife stall.

Amber Murdoch said her son, 11, arrived home on Thursday with a model foetus after a school outing.

"I was shown it at 6 o'clock at night when I got home from work," Murdoch said.

"It led to me having a really uncomfortable conversation when I had to explain to him he wasn't actually going to be allowed to play with this thing, and having to explain what abortion was all about."

Murdoch said her son also received a leaflet written for women who were pregnant. Murdoch said she would ask Canterbury A&P Association to investigate the stall and would lodge a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority.

Avril Thresh said she saw young boys running around with the foetuses.

"Regardless of whether you support their beliefs or not, we don't feel it's an appropriate platform for them to be spreading their message."

Joanne Kirwan, another mother, said: "It's there for family entertainment, not for that type of message to be given to children."

Voice for Life spokesman Joseph Houghton said stall volunteers had behaved appropriately, but their use of the plastic foetus would be reviewed.

The Royal Agricultural Society is the umbrella group for 97 A&P associations. Society president John Grigg said individual associations each defined their own stallholder policies.

Last month, the Advertising Standards Authority upheld a complaint against Voice for Life about an ad published in Bay of Plenty media. The ad advised women to contact a pastor or priest, from a list provided, before undergoing abortion. A complainant raised multiple concerns and said the ad grossly misrepresented medical facts about abortion's risks and effects.

- Herald on Sunday

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