Pakistan’s Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has banned all TV and radio ads for contraceptives.
— Reuters India (@ReutersIndia) May 28, 2016
According to the regulator, this is fueled by public complaints that the ads prompted curiosity among “innocent children.”
This comes despite a government initiative to encourage birth control in the traditionally conservative country.
According to government statistics on the country’s Couple Years of Protection, Pakistan’s already low contraception use fell by another 7.2 percent last year.
Pakistan is the world’s sixth most populous country, according to the US Population Reference Bureau. It has a population growth rate of 1.92 percent and is projected to increase to more than 227 million by 2025.
“Reduction in population growth is one of the top priorities of the government of Pakistan to maintain balance between the country’s resources and population,” the government’s annual report on contraceptive use said.
Low contraceptive use may also have implications for the spread of sexually transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDS, which claimed over 2,800 lives in Pakistan last year, according to UN data.
According to PEMRA, non-complying television and radio stations will face legal action, although a specific punishment wasn’t disclosed.
— Ilhan Niaz (@IlhanNiaz) May 28, 2016