Pro-choice activists demonstrated in solidarity with women attending a Marie Stopes abortion clinic in Ealing in west London last Saturday.
They were opposing anti-abortion campaigners picketing the clinic. One of the pro-choice organisers, Anna Veglio-White, said pickets had been harassing women, “leaning over them and trying to thrust leaflets into their hands.”
She added, “Passers by have been hooting their horns and stopping to thank us for being here. We’ve had pretty much 100 percent public support.”
Only last week Aston University published a report detailing the impact that anti-abortion pickets have on women accessing abortion services.
Women reported that even the presence of pickets makes them anxious. Several reported harassment went further. Some were followed, filmed and in one case assaulted.
One woman attending a Bpas clinic in Milton Keynes in 2012 said, “When arriving people were outside with signs, it made me scared to come in”. She said she was “physically shaking”.
Another said she felt “harassed and violated as I was being filmed against my will” as she went to a clinic in central London.
Mobilisations by Abortion Rights campaigners have in the past successfully stopped anti abortion pickets in Cardiff and east London.
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