ACT’s David Seymour, the abortion lobbyists, and the Facebook scrap
Stuff co.nz 14 March 2020
Family First Comment: Finally the media picks up that we’re sidestepping the bias mainstream media, and speaking to (and influencing) the masses via social media!
The abortion debate has always created a lot of noise, and the introduction of the bill last year turned up the volume.
The conservative Christian lobby group Family First paid for 20 ads that rolled out on Facebook between August 12 and March 12.
Five of them are the personal stories of women or families, and another is an interview with a former abortion provider, all filmed by an in-house team.
Others, featuring videos of a pink-haired woman giving what the group says is a “humorous” take on the issue, have been imported from Canada and adapted for New Zealand.
Family First leader Bob McCoskrie said paying for campaigns was “not cheap” – “more in the hundreds of thousands than the tens of thousands”.
It was funded “purely by donations from families in New Zealand”.
“There have been allegations that we’ve had donations from the United States – I keep standing out at the letterbox waiting for the cheque, but nothing has arrived,” McCoskrie said.
Like Cormack, he felt the media didn’t tell his group’s story, and so social media provided a platform to go straight to the public.
“Hopefully then they’ll communicate to politicians.”
With the abortion bill still going through its committee stages in the House, and the third reading not far away, this was a critical time, and they wouldn’t be backing away from the pressure, said McCoskrie.
A lobby group in support of change, the Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand (ALRANZ), has not paid for any Facebook ads, but is posting regularly on social media.
Its financial accounts show revenue in 2018 was less than a quarter of Voice for Life, at just $5400.
President Terry Bellamak said ALRANZ’s policy was to “play it straight” and to use social media to reach supporters, posting articles and research-backed facts about abortion.
“We don’t pay for Facebook ads because we don’t have that kind of money. And honestly we’re not really needing to right now.”
Justice Minister Andrew Little, in charge of the bill, told Stuff he wasn’t aware of any increase in ads from Voice for Life.
“Personally, I ignore communications from extremist groups.”
READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/120251127/acts-david-seymour-the-abortion-lobbyists-and-the-facebook-scrap?cid=app-iPhone
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