AN anti-abortion advertisement has been removed from the side of a Newcastle bus after Transport Minister Andrew Constance commented on social media that he was "appalled" it was allowed to appear on the public network.
Keolis Downer, the company that runs Newcastle's bus system, said it "acted immediately" to remove the advertising after discovering it was linked to the pro-life movement, Emily's Voice.
"A third party manages advertising on Newcastle Transport buses. Keolis Downer acted immediately and the advertisement has now been removed. Advertising must comply with Transport for NSW content standards and guidelines,"a statement from the company said.
"An investigation into this matter is now underway."
Keolis Downer would not confirm how many buses the advertising had appeared on, or for how long it had appeared on the public network.
Images of the bus, provided by Emily's Voice, show the group's logo on the advertisement, as well as the URL for its website Not Born Yet - accompanied by the phrase "A heart beats at four weeks".
MP Andrew Constance replied to a complaint made by a Newcastle resident on the minister's Facebook page on Thursday, saying he was "similarly appalled."
"I've instructed that this ad and any similar collateral be removed immediately," Mr Constance wrote.
The Newcastle man said he complained out of concern for the women seeing the bus who had used abortion services.
"Being who I am as a man, I can never truly imagine what it would be like to see that sort of thing rolling around the town on a bus. It's a guilt driven directive on what to do with their body," he said.
Paul O'Rourke, the CEO of Emily's Voice, which is based in Toowoomba, said the advertisement was part of a campaign to "help Australians fall in love with the unborn".
"There are Govt [sic] campaigns to reduce smoking, the road toll, cancer and heart disease. Surely there's a place to reduce abortion which claims more Aussie lives each year than any other cause?" he said.
"We are seeking to restart and reshape the life conversation in a sensible, sensitive way free of guilt and condemnation so women make an informed choice."
Last year, the Australian Communications and Media Authority censured Emily's Voice for another one of its advertisement aired on television, saying it did not appropriately identify it was of a political nature.