Abortion rights in the UK and all over Europe are increasingly being threatened by the rise of conservative “pro-life” groups that actively engage in anti-abortion protests, ‘vigils’ and manipulative actions against women outside clinics.
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) centre here in Stratford has recently become the object of attacks from one of these groups. The “Helpers of God’s Precious Infants” are a Catholic fundamentalist group based in the US, in Australia and in the UK that demonstrate outside clinics and harass women that are entering in an attempt to convince them not to have an abortion. They make look ‘harmless’, but they are highly organised, prepared and trained to put an enormous psychological pressure on women: showing them images of dead foetuses and babies, calling them ‘mummy’ and ‘daddy’, surrounding them, filming them or blocking their access to the clinic. Also, they spread lies about abortion such as it gives breast cancer!
This is totally unacceptable! We need to take action to stop them harassing women!
Today (16th April 2016) the Helpers are holding a vigil and a procession from St. John’s Church to BPAS centre in Stratford. They do this on a regular basis. Feminist Fightback are in Stratford to present a counter-force against this group. We want to show women that there are people on their side and make sure they can enter the clinic without being stressed, questioned, traumatised, made to feel guilty or have to justify themselves.
We call for support from the local community to defend the local BPAS centre, to show their indignation to those who have no respect for women and their decisions and to guarantee that women going to the clinic feel safe and supported.
Come and join us! Defend your abortion rights!
Further Reading / Watching / Listening / Distributing:
Statement on reproductive justice (2016)
Leaflet on fighting for reproductive justice (April 2016)
Report of the demonstration at the Polish embassy against the proposed ban on abortion (April 2016)
Presentation @ Connecting European Struggles; Feminism in the Crisis Conference in Sweden (Sept 2015)
Video featuring last year’s action in Stratford (May 2015)
Leaflet explaining why it is our right to decide (May 2015)
Report describing the action with photos (May 2015)
Summary outlining the tactical debates about abortion clinic vigils (Sept 2013)
Analysis of the attacks on reproductive rights in relation to austerity (April 2013)
Research into the threat of privatisation to abortion rights (April 2012)