Abortion protest has little effect outside Brighton clinic

Protesters outside an abortion clinic are not deterring women from using the service but forcing them to put off treatment until later, according to new claims.

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (Bpas), a charity which offers advice to pregnant women, claims that two years of protests carried outside their Wistons Clinic in Dyke Road, Brighton, has not caused their client numbers to drop but has put women off coming to the clinic until later into their term.

Figures released by Bpas show that the number of clients using the clinic has increased by 5% between 2009 and 2011.

However, the number of clients getting an abortion between 10 and 12 weeks increased by nearly 30% between 2009 and 2011 while women seeking an abortion past 13 weeks has increased by a third.

A Bpas spokeswoman said women seeking treatment after nine weeks are unable to access an early medical abortion, which many women prefer as it can be performed without anaesthetic.

Abortions carried out later in gestation are a more complex procedure.

Earlier this week Abort67 campaigner Andrew Stephenson was cleared of public order offences for unveiling a graphic poster close to the clinic last year.

The case seems unlikely to stop campaigners from both sides of the issue from continuing to protest over the issue with Mr Stephenson vowing to return in the next few weeks.

Brighton Pro-Choice is continuing to hold weekly meetings in the city discussing tactics to oppose Abort67 and released a statement earlier this week saying this week’s verdict changed nothing.

'Causing distress'

Clare Murphy, Bpas spokeswoman, said: “We are very supportive of people’s right to freedom of speech.

“However, what takes place on a regular basis outside our clinic is not about debate or changing public opinion, it is simply about causing distress to individual women on what may already be a difficult day.

“We know there are some women who simply feel unable to make their way past the line of protesters on the days they are there.

“These women do not decide against abortion, they simply come back at a later date for treatment at a later gestation.”

Mr Stephenson said: “We are outside the clinic just two mornings of the week.

“Is Bpas suggesting women are too unintelligent to come back another day or go to another clinic?

“No woman can give informed consent until she has seen what abortion looks like.

“Bpas are trying to make us go away and their desperate attempts to shame us by falsely reporting about who we are and what they do is a sign we are winning.”

Comments (12)

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2:51pm Fri 21 Sep 12

Gary Manilow says...

These protesters are scum. If they don't like abortion then they shouldn't have one. What anyone else wants to do with their own body is up to them.
These protesters are scum. If they don't like abortion then they shouldn't have one. What anyone else wants to do with their own body is up to them. Gary Manilow

3:11pm Fri 21 Sep 12

theleftygiraffe says...

“Is Bpas suggesting women are too unintelligent to come back another day or go to another clinic?"

No, they're suggesting that your campaign is a ridiculous and intrusive attempt to enforce your beliefs upon people who are already in a huge amount of distress.

A woman is perfectly capable of giving informed consent regardless of whether she has seen the procedure; by that logic you should show everyone who wants an appendectomy, vasectomy etc. a video of the respective procedure and then ask them if they want it. Utterly ridiculous.
“Is Bpas suggesting women are too unintelligent to come back another day or go to another clinic?" No, they're suggesting that your campaign is a ridiculous and intrusive attempt to enforce your beliefs upon people who are already in a huge amount of distress. A woman is perfectly capable of giving informed consent regardless of whether she has seen the procedure; by that logic you should show everyone who wants an appendectomy, vasectomy etc. a video of the respective procedure and then ask them if they want it. Utterly ridiculous. theleftygiraffe

3:13pm Fri 21 Sep 12

Flippin Burghers says...

They should be shown pictures of their own internal organs. See how they like it.
They should be shown pictures of their own internal organs. See how they like it. Flippin Burghers

3:17pm Fri 21 Sep 12

Nathan_Adler says...

Whilst abortion is not a pleasant thing and certainly not an answer to a post coital ding dong that has gone wrong i wish these protesters would mind their own flaming business.

What would their view be if Hitler could have been aborted (wasn't that a film or something?)

Bloody do gooders, sick of them all. Go and preach your misguided vitriol elswhere please and leave these girls and women alone.
Whilst abortion is not a pleasant thing and certainly not an answer to a post coital ding dong that has gone wrong i wish these protesters would mind their own flaming business. What would their view be if Hitler could have been aborted (wasn't that a film or something?) Bloody do gooders, sick of them all. Go and preach your misguided vitriol elswhere please and leave these girls and women alone. Nathan_Adler

3:40pm Fri 21 Sep 12

Fercri Sakes says...

Anti-social scum.

Just think what number of positive things they could be doing with their time. Maybe helping children and people who have already been born. No, I forgot, once it's not a foetus and actually a human they couldn't care less.

Weird freaks, the lot of them.
Anti-social scum. Just think what number of positive things they could be doing with their time. Maybe helping children and people who have already been born. No, I forgot, once it's not a foetus and actually a human they couldn't care less. Weird freaks, the lot of them. Fercri Sakes

5:10pm Fri 21 Sep 12

ourcoalition says...

Perhaps we should organise a counter demonstration each time they are there!
Just a thought.......
Perhaps we should organise a counter demonstration each time they are there! Just a thought....... ourcoalition

6:38pm Fri 21 Sep 12

AmboGuy says...

These protesters would be nothing more than a laughing stock if they weren't so obnoxious.

You've got one of them who posts on here who's previously given an interview on tv stating how the government are using mind control against him - I kid you not and this is the link:
http://video.google.
com/googleplayer.swf
?docid=4541528650001
280315&

This shows the level of 'person' we're dealing with here in the anti abortion camp! Like I say they'd be comical if they weren't out harassing women.
These protesters would be nothing more than a laughing stock if they weren't so obnoxious. You've got one of them who posts on here who's previously given an interview on tv stating how the government are using mind control against him - I kid you not and this is the link: http://video.google. com/googleplayer.swf ?docid=4541528650001 280315& This shows the level of 'person' we're dealing with here in the anti abortion camp! Like I say they'd be comical if they weren't out harassing women. AmboGuy

9:29pm Fri 21 Sep 12

a person says...

They do say that one of natures ways of dealing with an abnormal foetus is for the woman to have a miscarriage or spontaneous abortion.
This usually happens before 12 weeks.

So that the protesters know this is like a really heavy unpleasant period ,
but something that can just happen to a women who is pregnant.

So it should make sense for all women to have a termination before 12 weeks if possible.

These protesters are trying to interfere in a cruel and inhuman way .
In something that is not their business.
They do say that one of natures ways of dealing with an abnormal foetus is for the woman to have a miscarriage or spontaneous abortion. This usually happens before 12 weeks. So that the protesters know this is like a really heavy unpleasant period , but something that can just happen to a women who is pregnant. So it should make sense for all women to have a termination before 12 weeks if possible. These protesters are trying to interfere in a cruel and inhuman way . In something that is not their business. a person

10:09pm Fri 21 Sep 12

Goldenwight says...

“Is Bpas suggesting women are too unintelligent to come back another day or go to another clinic?

So, Abort 67 is not against abortion generally, just against women who want early term abortions on those two particular mornings at that particular clinic, then? Why do they not have a problem with all the OTHER abortions?

Come on, Argus, lets get these people (in the wider sense of the word) to go on record in your paper and explain this.
“Is Bpas suggesting women are too unintelligent to come back another day or go to another clinic? So, Abort 67 is not against abortion generally, just against women who want early term abortions on those two particular mornings at that particular clinic, then? Why do they not have a problem with all the OTHER abortions? Come on, Argus, lets get these people (in the wider sense of the word) to go on record in your paper and explain this. Goldenwight

9:43am Sat 22 Sep 12

Morpheus says...

Gary Manilow wrote:
These protesters are scum. If they don't like abortion then they shouldn't have one. What anyone else wants to do with their own body is up to them.
Unfortunately, Gary, yours is the sort of uniformed view that abortion creates. The women are not doing what they want to their body. Somebody else is doing the abortion. But what about the real victim here, the unborn child who has no say in the matter?
[quote][p][bold]Gary Manilow[/bold] wrote: These protesters are scum. If they don't like abortion then they shouldn't have one. What anyone else wants to do with their own body is up to them.[/p][/quote]Unfortunately, Gary, yours is the sort of uniformed view that abortion creates. The women are not doing what they want to their body. Somebody else is doing the abortion. But what about the real victim here, the unborn child who has no say in the matter? Morpheus

11:28am Sat 22 Sep 12

AmboGuy says...

Morpheus wrote:
Gary Manilow wrote:
These protesters are scum. If they don't like abortion then they shouldn't have one. What anyone else wants to do with their own body is up to them.
Unfortunately, Gary, yours is the sort of uniformed view that abortion creates. The women are not doing what they want to their body. Somebody else is doing the abortion. But what about the real victim here, the unborn child who has no say in the matter?
Yes the child has no say in the matter - the problem is neither do people like you. It's not your body and it's not your child. Sadly religious extremism seems all to often to rear its ugly head when abortion is concerned.
[quote][p][bold]Morpheus[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Gary Manilow[/bold] wrote: These protesters are scum. If they don't like abortion then they shouldn't have one. What anyone else wants to do with their own body is up to them.[/p][/quote]Unfortunately, Gary, yours is the sort of uniformed view that abortion creates. The women are not doing what they want to their body. Somebody else is doing the abortion. But what about the real victim here, the unborn child who has no say in the matter?[/p][/quote]Yes the child has no say in the matter - the problem is neither do people like you. It's not your body and it's not your child. Sadly religious extremism seems all to often to rear its ugly head when abortion is concerned. AmboGuy

6:13pm Sat 22 Sep 12

Roundbill says...

This is the perfect opportunity for some REAL journalism: an interview with a representative from this group of protesters would be a thousand times more relevant than the usual copypasta from the dull Twitter feeds of well-known nonentities.
This is the perfect opportunity for some REAL journalism: an interview with a representative from this group of protesters would be a thousand times more relevant than the usual copypasta from the dull Twitter feeds of well-known nonentities. Roundbill

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