Pro-life campaigners have pledged to “pray” outside an abortion clinic every day for the next five weeks.
As part of the international campaign 40 Days for Life, 12-hour vigils will be held outside Wistons clinic in Dyke Road, Brighton, for every day of Lent.
The group claim they will be offering help and support to women as they head into the building, but feminist groups say their presence intimidates vulnerable people making difficult decisions.
Caroline Hubert, the Brighton campaign co-ordinator, claimed society was living through an “abortion crisis”.
She added: “We want people to feel there must be a better way for women in this situation.
“There is no intimidation, it’s peaceful and any person who is taking part has to sign a statement of peace.
“We’re there to pray, we’re not there for anything else.
“We’re not expecting hostility. We know a lot of people do not like what we do and they can respond to us and make that very clear.”
40 Days for Life is being billed as “the largest and longest coordinated pro-life mobilisation in history”.
Ms Hubert said there were 4,000 abortions in Brighton and Hove a year – the equivalent of two-and-a-half classes of schoolchildren every week.
About 250 people have joined the Brighton branch of the campaign which will run until March 24.
A Brighton Feminist Collective spokesman said the pro-life campaigners regularly “intimidated” women attending the clinic.
She said: “As reported by the Argus last year, they had no qualms about harassing a victim of rape who was already suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.
“The message is clear: local residents, students, parents, politicians and health professionals simply don’t want them there.”
See the latest news headlines from The Argus:
- Search launched after suspected human bones found by fisherman next to pond
- Snow falls in Sussex: 9 of the best weather pictures from this morning
- Technology firm sold to Facebook for $10m
- Residents face £21k bill to repair council-owned block of flats
- Children’s centres cuts ‘will harm school work’