Labour ask Government to stop patients and staff being harassed outside of abortion clinics

9th December, 2014 1:38 pm


Labour have asked the Government to find ways to stop patients and staff at abortion clinics being harassed by anti-abortion campaigners.

Organisations that offer abortion services have said that there has been a rise in the number of people protesting outside of their clinics. Tactics that protestors from campaign groups like Abort 67 and 40 Days for Life engage in include showing women distressing images or attempting to film or photograph them – as Sunny Hundal reported for us last month.

Yvette Cooper, Shadow Home Secretary, has asked the Government to look at places like America, Canada and France where buffer zones have been created outside clinics, stopping protestors from bgetting close to the premises. She has also asked them to talk with health service providers, patients and the police about this. Cooper has said:

“Women need to be able to attend sensitive health care appointments – including abortion services – without facing intimidation and harassment. And health care workers need to be able to do their jobs without intimidation too.

“We don’t want the kind of harassment and abuse that we’ve seen in the US imported into Britain.”

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  • FMcGonigal

    Peaceful picketing should be allowed as in an industrial dispute. Threatening or abusive behaviour which seems to be the case with groups mentioned in this article should not

    • disqus_JDuVQwdE3d

      Absolutely no to any kind of “picketing’ whatsoever. Visiting a health clinic for a sensitive and, in many cases, distressing appointment, can not in any way be compared to an industrial dispute. I am so pleased that Labour (who are all over the place on too many issues) have a concrete and the correct policy on this important area. Thank you to Yvette Cooper for standing up for vulnerable women.

      • These women are in a very vulnerable position. I don’t agree with what they are doing, but the fact that they are doing it proves that they are at a very low ebb.

        I am not keen on banning this kind of thing, and I don’t think that that will happen. But I wouldn’t encourage it.

      • FMcGonigal

        I do have sympathy with Yvette Cooper’s position as regards the idea of a buffer zone. I would be uneasy about an outright ban on the grounds of free speech.

      • Nonsense. Why shouldn’t people be distressed and upset. Besides which if the government really wanted to do something they could prosecute these people under existing legislation such as the Public Order Act. They don’t because they are too chicken to lock people up for expressing their opinions. Is there no end to idiots on the hard left trying to steal away people’s freedom of speech with black lies along the lines of “you’re perfectly able to express your opinion so long as you do it in a concrete bunker 50,000 ft below a nuclear facility that has been hermetically sealed from the outside world and contains no air”. Besides which if you think that will be an end of the matter you are deluded and just don’t know the RCC very well. They love an excuse to depict themselves as maytrs to a cause. They’ve even now created something call white maytrdom for people who haven’t really been persecuted but are just a bit upset – which is exactly what this is. I mean why are these people going for abortions so easily distressed and sensitive? They’re only pregnant. The feminist lobby is constantly telling us that having an abortion has no long term negative psycological consequences and is just like having a tooth out so where’s the problem? Beats me.

  • This is not something that the mainstream British pro-life organisations (which, being full of Catholics, are full of Labour voters and disproportionately of Labour Party members) really do, anyway.

    It has been imported from, and largely by, the American lot, a spectacularly unsuccessful movement which in 2012 was reduced to urging a vote for a Presidential candidate who derived and income from the public funding of abortion in the state where he had legalised such funding.

    By contrast, abortion is specifically excluded from ObamaCare. But don’t try and tell the GOP shills and hacks of American pro-life that.

  • The abortion industry and it’s lobbyists are claiming that anti-abortion activists are harassing women. I have been on many anti-abortion displays and have never once encountered anything even close to harassment by pro-life volunteers. I have however been subjected to verbal abuse by clinic staff and members of the public (including being called a pervert and peodaphile whilst quietly praying outside a clinic during a 40 Days for Life Vigil), seen pro-life volunteers threatened with physical violence, and had property stolen.

    Abort67, whom I volunteer with, regularly display graphic abortion imagery on public property outside abortion clinics. They do this to show (1) the humanity of the unborn child and (2) what abortion does to the unborn child. This does not constitute criminal harassment. The judgement of the Court in Brighton that followed the arrests under Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 in direct relation to the images on Abort67’s banners and literature stated that images used are not “threatening, abusive or insulting”. It is also worth noting that Abort67 invite the police to everything they do publicly. If the police saw them harassing women or preventing them from entering abortion clinics they would arrest them immediately.

    BPAS and Marie Stopes are in my view engaged in something very close to consumer fraud. They systematically, knowingly withhold information from women, some percentage of whom would reject abortion if they were given access to that information. This information being (1) the humanity of their unborn child and (2) what the abortion procedure will do to their unborn child. These women do not go to pro-life groups, pro-life groups need to go to public spaces near abortion clinics and show them this information. These are public places, pro-lifers (like everyone else) have every right to be there.

    BPAS and Marie Stopes have a vested interest – they make a huge amount of money providing taxpayer funded abortions. They want to ensure that only they have the ear of pregnant women contemplating abortion, and they are asking MP’s to take away the right to exercise free speech in public places near abortion clinics to achieve this.

    • Marie Stopes was the author of extravagant, versified love letters to Hitler. She disowned her own son because he married a woman who wore glasses.

      She campaigned for the compulsory sterilisation of “the C3 population”, of “half-castes” and of “revolutionaries”, among numerous others.

      And she opened dozens of clinics in working-class areas to reduce the number of “undesirables” by persuasion if force were politically impossible.

      Yet those clinics now retain the right to “counsel” women considering the abortions that they have a gigantic financial and an immeasurable ideological interest in ensuring go ahead.

      They still carry the name of Marie Stopes. Our televisions now carry their adverts. Our 50p stamps quite recently carried her image. And we all carry the shame.


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