Macedonia: State anti-abortion ad faces criticism

SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — Activists in Macedonia are calling on the government to remove state-funded anti-abortion advertisements shown on television, arguing they unfairly stigmatize women who undergo the procedure.

The independent Association for Health Education and Research, or HERA, on Tuesday criticized the ad, which shows an expectant father visiting a hospital and being informed by a doctor that his child was not born due to an abortion.

Abortion is legal in Macedonia, but in 2008 the conservative government launched the TV campaign, which is backed by the country's powerful Orthodox Church and aimed at halting the country's declining birth rate.

Broadcast regulators have already forced changes to the ads, which originally described abortion as murder.