Abortion Rights Blog

The national pro-choice campaign

Press Release- Abortion Rights calls for a counter protest on 14th May

06/05/16

Abortion Rights urges the pro-choice majority to Stand Up For Choice!

  • Advance media notice
  • What: Stand up for Choice
  • When: 14th May 2016, Victoria Square Birmingham

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.

Access to abortion free from harassment is not guaranteed in the UK. Clinic harassment has been a tool used extensively by anti-choice activists. Women choosing to access abortion services are systematically targeted and pestered outside clinics

Abortions Rights condemn this harassment and are seeking means to end it. We want to encourage the pro-choice majority to stand up, in opposition to the anti-choice, extremist ‘March for Life’ campaign. The idea is to raise our voices against this harassment and stand up to the bullies.

Kerry Abel, Chair of Abortion Rights, Said: ‘Women should not only be guaranteed safe abortions, but also safe passage while accessing services. The anti-choice activists deal fear and humiliation to these women, making it hard for them to practise their rights. As pro-choice campaigners for women, we believe it is essential that they be stopped.’

Dr. Pam Lowe, said ‘Our research has shown that anti-abortion activism around clinics causes significant distress to women and invades their right to healthcare privacy. Whilst the tiny minority of people who have religious objections to all abortions are entitled to their views, I don’t think it is acceptable that they are allowed to harass women.’

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.

Notes to Editors

  • Abortion Rights is the UK pro-choice campaign, working to defend and extend abortion rights and provide a pro-choice voice to the media.
  • For further comment please call 020 7923 9792 or e-mail choice@abortionrights.org.uk Please visit our website www.abortionrights.co.uk and follow us on Twitter @Abortion_Rights
  • One in three women will have an abortion by the time she is 45.
  • UK society is overwhelming pro-choice
  • Abortion is legal in England, Scotland and Wales provided two doctors agree the procedure is in the patient’s best interest.
  • In the UK, a consistent three quarters of people support a woman’s right to choose. 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.
  • Pam Lowe’s research shows that a majority of clinic users considered anti-abortion actions outside clinics to be intrusive and emotionally onerous. (file:///C:/Users/Office1/Downloads/A%20Hard%20Enough%20Decision%20to%20Make%20-%20Dr%20Graeme%20Hayes%20&%20Dr%20Pam%20Lowe%20(3).pdf)
  • An increasing number of anti-choice activists have been non-consensually filming women outside clinics, which women found extremely disturbing.