US Style abortion clinic protests coming to a clinic near you…
Picture the scene: protesters with gory posters of bloody foetuses standing outside a doctor’s surgery haranguing patients and staff trying to enter the clinic and vowing to close the service down.
Maybe you’re picturing this clinic in the blazing sunshine of Texas or some other US state where anti-choice activists have been campaigning so effectively to curtail women’s access to abortion? No, this bleak scene was played out today in a grey autumnal London.
This particular protest is being organised by “Abort67”, a nasty group with a track record of intimidating women seeking abortions and staff working at clinics. Tactics include filming those entering and exiting the clinic as well as handing out leaflets with misinformation about abortion and displaying photographs of aborted foetuses. Today’s protest outside a GP surgery in London which will be offering abortion services as of tomorrow is particularly pernicious.
Abort67 have made it clear that their intention is to intimidate the practice into not opening the service. This is a deeply worrying new development – it is not just that they are harassing women, staff and members of the public near clinics – they are trying to prevent women having any access to abortion services in the local area full stop. If they were successful in closing down the service, this would set a worrying new precedent in the UK.
Now is the time to speak out against the scare tactics and intimidation used by these groups. The charity Abortion Rights has set up a petition against Abort67’s activities. I’ve signed it and shared it widely with my friends and colleagues and I urge you to do the same.