What: Stand Up for Choice!
Pro-choice counter protest against anti-choice ‘March For Life’ event
When: Saturday 16 May, Birmingham, Chamberlain Square 14:00-16:00
Abortion Rights has called a peaceful Stand Up To Choice! protest in opposition to the ‘March For Life’ which is co-arranged by a consortium of extremist anti-abortion & pro-abstinence groups.
These groups such as SPUC and 40 Days for Life have a shared legacy of using tactics of intimidation and harassment and bear disturbing similarities with the extreme practices deployed in the US. This has resulted in devastating access to family planning services state by state.
Women attempting to access a legal medical service must be able to do so without fear of harassment or intimidation. It’s time for the UK’s pro-choice majority to say we’ve had enough of this kind of behaviour and to stand up for our right to safe, legal abortion.
Kerry Abel, Abortion Rights Chair said:
‘Abortion Rights aims to reclaim the abortion debate and send a strong message out that the proposed gathering harbours extremist views and is not representative of the reality: 1 in 3 women in Britain will have an abortion in their life time and a consistent three quarters support the current legal right to abortion – it’s time the pro-choice majority was heard!’
Siobhan Endean, Unite the Union National Officer for Equalities said:
The right to choose to, or not to have an abortion is extremely important for working women and their families. Unite the Union is part of the pro-choice majority and supports a women’s right not to be harassed when attending abortion clinics. We urge as many trade unionists as possible to show up in Birmingham on the day.
Shelly Asquith, NUS VP Welfare elect said:
These groups do not just get together for peaceful demonstrations – they are more malicious than that. Recently they have ramped up intimidation tactics outside clinics, and even targeted freshers’ fairs. Last year they rallied hundreds of people to their cause. Now Abortion Rights is calling for all students and supporters to join together and show our support for reproductive rights and the right to choose.
Notes to Editors
- Abortion Rights is the national pro-choice campaign, working to defend and extend abortion rights and provide a pro-choice voice to the media. We are supported by the TUC, National Union of Students amongst other prominent union groups
- Anyone who wishes to attend the pro-choice event can find more information on our Facebook page or website. Coach seats from London can be booked here
- 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.
- A consistent three quarters of people support a woman’s right to choose in Britain. However there is a vocal minority that continually seeks to introduce amendments to legislation in Parliament that would undermine women’s bodily autonomy and existing law and practice.
- In 2014 Precious Life chief Bernie Smyth convicted of harassing Marie Stopes abortion clinic director