Abortion Rights members Cat Smith MP, Edem Barbara Ntumy and Sarah Cartin representing various denominations of Christianityhave founded Christians for choice in response to anti choice 40 Days for Life tactics harassment and intimidation.
They say a woman accessing abortion in the UK should be entitled to safe and unobstructed access. From the moment she makes her decision, every step of the way should be planned and managed as safely as any other medical procedure. To have to encounter harassment and intimidation is clearly dangerous and unacceptable. Cloaking the targeting of abortion clinics as a Christian act during a period of religious reflection is deeply wrong. The victimisation of any person accessing any other medical treatment would be publicly condemned, and so should the activity of these groups. Ultimately it is not with line with the Biblical meaning of Lent or indeed overarching Christian values
40 Days for Life are an Evangelical Christian anti-choice group whose mission is to ‘bring an end to abortion’. Their main activity is carrying out what they vigils outside facilities that provide abortions. 40 Days for Life ‘vigils’ are far from peaceful; they are, in fact, a campaign of coercion. 40 Days for Life volunteers approach and follow women entering and leaving clinics and have even been known to physically obstruct access. They hand out propaganda, particularly in the form of misleading and medically inaccurate leaflets, in an attempt to scare women into not carrying out a termination.
Edem Barbara Ntumy, speaking for Christians for Choice: “The rhetoric of Christian anti-choice groups has drowned out the voices of pro-choice Christians. I believe being pro choice and being a Christian are not diametrically opposed. It is vital that other Christian positions on abortion are heard. Whilst I recognise those of Christian faiths have a diverse range of opinions on abortion, it is important to be able to have uncomfortable conversations and debates within our community.”
Kerry Abel, Abortion Rights Chair says: I welcome this new section of our campaign which demonstrates our broad base of pro-choice support.”
Notes to editors:
- Our media team would be happy to provide further quotes, press images and information. Media contactEdem Barbara Ntumy (02079239792)
- Read our full statement here
- Supporters can join Christians for Choice here
- A YouGov poll for the ‘Westminster Faith Debates‘ and reported in The Guardian found the percentage of the population wanting a ban has fallen from 12% in 2005 to 7% today. http://www.abortionrights.org.uk/anti-abortion-sentiment-dwindling-report-finds/
- Abortion Rights is the national pro-choice campaign, working to defend and extend abortion rights and provide a pro-choice voice to the media. Since 1967 the Abortion Act has enabled women to access abortions in England, Wales and Scotland. One in three women will have an abortion in her lifetime.
- Abortion Rights, as a prochoice campaign, is firmly against anyone’s bodily autonomy being ignored or overridden.