A religious order based in Surbiton, Surrey, has put up an anti-abortion poster outside a local primary school.
The “Community of Divine Innocence”, nicknamed Our Lady of Surbiton, has also been criticised by local residents and parents over its anti-abortion bumper stickers, a local paper reported.
Founded by Patricia de Menezes in 1984 after she claimed to have received a vision of the Virgin Mary, the religious group – which is not recognised by the Catholic Church – meets every day near Christ Church primary school.
The poster says “We pray for souls of aborted children”, according to a local resident who did not want to give his name in case the order “started praying” for him.
Local resident Sally Gooding said: “They are mostly old ladies and it all seemed quite sweet and innocent, but I have to say I was quite shocked by some of the bumper stickers.
“Everyone is entitled to an opinion but this kind of stuff is very right wing and fundamentalist.
“There is a primary school in this road and I would not want my kids exposed to such a narrow-minded view.”
The order’s website describes abortion as “wholesale slaughter”, according to Huffington Post.
US website RH Reality Check picked up the story, adding that the order’s tactics mirror those used extensively in the US. At Abortion Rights, we hope the Surbiton group’s tactics are not copied elsewhere in the UK.