Billboard and bus ads spark controversy

The ad was banned from state buses in Newcastle, NSW (

A pro-life billboard advertisement has sparked controversy in Hobart just weeks after the same ad was deemed too inappropriate to be carried on Newcastle buses. Source: ABC News.

A Hobart pub has put up its own notice assuring patrons it is "pro-choice" and “does not control women’s bodies” after a pro-life ad appeared on a billboard on its roof.

The advertisement for not-for-profit organisation Emily's Voice features the slogan "A heart beats at four weeks" and was first spotted by staff on top of the Republic Bar and Cafe earlier this week.

In response, pub staff put up their own message inside the bar and on social media.

"We do not control the billboard above our building … this venue is pro-choice," the notice read.

Republic licensee and general manager Jacki MacPherson said she was surprised the ad had gone up, and that she was usually notified prior to political or social advertising being booked on the billboard.

Ms MacPherson said she did not want the ad to upset customers and that it did not align with the views of the business.

Emily's Voice CEO Paul O'Rourke said in a statement that the not-for-profit was disappointed in the Republic Bar's stance.

"We are surprised and disappointed that the venue would feel the need to criticise a very tasteful, sensitive sign that confirms the scientific fact that an unborn baby has a heartbeat at four weeks from conception," he said.

Mr O'Rourke added that the organisation agreed with the Republic Bar's poster and also did not want to "control women's bodies", stating that Emily's Voice believed in "informed choice".

According to the Emily’s Voice website, last month, Mr O’Rourke issued an open letter to NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance expressing surprise and dismay that the ads had been banned from NSW buses in Newcastle.

“We were surprised and disappointed to have our bus advertisement promoting motherhood, family and informed choice banned from NSW buses,” he said.

He urged the Mr Constance to reconsider his decision.


Hobart's Republic Bar hits out at Emily's Voice pro-life ad erected on building's roof (ABC News)

An open letter to Andrew Constance (


Minister bans pro-life advertisement (The Catholic Weekly)

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