Abortion Rights has today released an open letter to urge him to take responsibility for abortion clinic closures as a result of the activities of anti-choice protesters.
Kerry Abel, Chair of Abortion Rights said:
‘It’s unacceptable that perfectly legal medical services are being shut down because of a few bullies outside. But what’s worse is the government are standing by and letting it happen.’
She urged members of the public to sign the letter and put pressure on Jeremy Hunt to ensure that patients and clinic staff are free from harassment and abortion services are kept open.
Abortion Rights is also encouraging people to share the letter with the hashtag #keepclinicsopenJeremy
Notes for the editor
- Abortion Rights is the UK’s national campaign for a woman’s right to choose on abortion. www.abortionrights.org.uk
- 1 in 3 UK women will have at least one abortion in her lifetime.
- Abortion is legal in England, Scotland and Wales provided two doctors agree the procedure is in the patient’s best interest. Abortion is illegal in Northern Ireland unless the mother’s life is at risk.
- 96% of women who have abortions have their terminations funded by the NHS
- Abortion Rights condemns street harassment outside medical clinics which intimidates vulnerable women.
- The majority of the British public is pro-choice. A recent YovGov poll concludes that 93% support a woman’s right to choose.
- Abortion Rights have had an increase of reports of anti-choice activity outside of abortion clinics and health facilities that provide abortions. Women and staff have increasingly been facing harassment by anti-choice activists who have been intimidating staff and patients by using various tactics. For example: filming service users and staff going in and out the facilities; using graphic and exaggerated images of ‘aborted foetuses’; invading personal space by blocking peoples’ paths, including grabbing and touching people; and handing out medically inaccurate and misleading leaflets. This creates an atmosphere of intimidation and disrespects and disregards women’s personal medical choices and medical staff’s right to work free from harassment.