Sexual health charity fpa (the Family Planning Association) says it has created the first video virals aimed at MPs. The videos were emailed to MPs as part of its campaign to extend the Abortion Act 1967 to cover Northern Ireland.
There are four videos in the series, each lasting one minute. Two actors play women who have approached the fpa for counselling after being denied an abortion, despite risks to the unborn child or themselves. The other two videos outline why Northern Ireland is excluded from the act and what teenagers think about it.
Rebecca Findlay, press and campaigns manager at fpa, says the charity sent MPs "a broad avalanche of information" in the week prior to the vote in the Commons on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, which contained an amendment extending the 1967 act to Northern Ireland, on 22 October. The MPs were also sent emails, letters and postcards designed to assuage their concerns about the effect the legislation might have on the Northern Irish peace process or equality legislation.
MPs were targeted by the fpa, and also by the charity's supporters, who were asked to mail postcards and email the videos to their MPs. A separate postcard bearing the slogan "we want abortion" was designed for Ulster residents to mail directly to Gordon Brown. A Facebook page and an online petition were also set up.
Although MPs passed the bill, the amendment failed after they ran out of time to debate it.