Around 70 people attended a “Carnival for Choice” in Worthing, West Sussex, on Sunday organised by campaign group Brighton Pro-Choice.
The protest started outside Worthing High School, where the local Jubilee Church hold their Sunday service. Leading figures in the church are closely linked with the aggressive anti-abortion group, Abort 67.
Abort 67 has been staging bi-weekly pickets of Wistons Clinic in Brighton, where they intimidate and harass women going in. They sometimes surround them, brandishing large colour posters of aborted foetuses, and compare abortion to the Nazi Holocaust.
Wendy, a Unison member who works for the local council, attended the protest.
'I've not been on a protest like this before,” said Wendy.
“I came because I can’t believe that in 2012 men are still trying to control women's fundamental rights. Just like in America, the government here are talking once again about changing the laws on abortion which will take us back decades. And if people don’t stand up to these attacks on abortion rights they'll get away with it.'
Protesters handed in a 3,000-strong petition to church leaders, calling on Abort 67 to stop harassing women at the clinic. The petition has been signed by two local MPs, including Caroline Lucas, and around half of Brighton & Hove’s councillors. It is also supported by Brighton Trades Council and a number of local trade union branches.
Demonstrators then marched into Worthing town centre with banners and flags—including those of the Unison and PCS unions—and a sound system.
They stopping traffic and drew lots of cheers and toots from passers-by and motorists.
Campaigners are determined to continue protests until Abort 67 end their pickets and harassment.