Monthly Archives: April 2012

Riot for Choice – Fundraiser!

Brighton Pro Choice invite you to our benefit evening on Friday 4th May – Riot for Choice!

 

7 pm-9 pm Yummy Vegan Meal with short films being shown

9 pm-12 am Performances – Live folk music and spoken word from local artists.

Performers include:

Mauve – A soul r&b combo serving up a feast of funky, jazzy, Latin beats.

Killer’s Riches – Acoustic political folk-punk.

Keeping Watch – Melancholic folk electronic music.

– Caitlin Hayward-Tapp – Performance Poetry.

Paul POG – Paul from POG will be setting tales of everyday failure to a gypsy punk soundtrack.

12 am-2 am DJ-ing by Scout, Laura and more.

Entrance by donation before 9pm, £3/4 suggested donation after.

FREE CANDYFLOSS FOR ALL ATTENDEES!

Vegan Cupcakes will also be on sale from Operation Icing!

Sexual health awareness stall. Free Condoms/Dental Dams and information!

At Cowley Club, 12 London Road, Brighton.

All welcome!

♥ Brighton Pro Choice

Carnival for Choice

Around 80 people from as far afield as London joined us on Sunday to protest outside the Worthing-based church behind controversial anti-abortion protests in Brighton. The Carnival for Choice was supported by various unions, Solfed, and Bloomsbury PCA. We picketed the Jubilee Church service held at Worthing High School, greeting the congregation as they entered and left the service.

In spite of the very early start the carnival was a lively affair with educational games, a pro-choice tombola and a mobile sound-system. The event outside the school passed off peacefully with protesters proceeding to march through Worthing to raise awareness of the presence of the church and the tactics they’ve been using. The police were co-operative throughout and said they were pleased with how the event went.

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Jubilee Church has been the driving force behind Abort67, the campaign group known for displaying graphic images of aborted foetuses outside Wiston’s Clinic on Dyke Road. The group have been accused of intimidating women entering the clinic and two members of the Church have been charged under Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 for causing harassment, alarm or distress.

Before the service the leader of the Church, Colin Nichols was presented with a petition of over 3,000 signatures calling for them to withdraw their support for Abort67. Nichols addressed the crowd reiterating his church’s support for anti-abortion group, saying that they did not endorse the harassment and intimidation of women. The crowd responded noisily to his well-worn script, which told us nothing we didn’t already know.

A member of Brighton Pro Choice said ‘It is well-known that Abort 67 intimidates users of the clinic. They approach people and give them false and misleading information about abortion, making an already difficult situation much worse. We wanted to give them a taste of their own medicine today by protesting outside their church. If they want us to go away, they must withdraw their support for this group’s disgusting tactics. If they want to change the law, they should be protesting outside Westminster.’

Shona McCulloch, a member of Brighton Pro Choice and Equalities Officer for Brighton Trades Council, said ‘80,000 women are killed every year globally through unsafe abortion; ultimately Abort67 want to add to this shameful statistic the lives of our daughters, sisters and mothers. We all have a responsibility to defend reproductive rights – we must draw the line and make it clear that Abort67’s appalling tactics of misinformation and fear are not welcome on our streets.’

Our message to Jubilee church was loud and clear – withdraw all support for Abort67, or you’ll be seeing us again!

The cracks begin to show

There are members of Brighton’s Jubilee Church who disagree with at  least  some of the actions and words of Abort67 members.  I have personally been contacted by a member of the church,  privately by email, who identifies him or her self in exactly this way. In addition, on the steps of Worthing Council last week, I and others from our group encountered several church members who  expressed disquiet about the practice of protesting outside abortion clinics, and some of the propaganda being spun to women there.

The main source of this disquiet seems to be that Abort67 is telling women that abortion causes cancer, or that it might cause cancer. This was documented on video recently by The Guardian. When pressed, Andrew Stephenson, leader of Abort67, goes quiet, though he is on record as saying that the evidence of cancer-related abortion has not been given a sufficient airing. He said this in relation to a story concerning a member of SPUC being invited into a school to say that abortion causes cancer, despite the absence of any link. Aware that he might lose support within his own community, he seems reluctant to discuss the issue.

Church members are also concerned that abortion clinics are not ‘appropriate’ places to demonstrate, whether it is legal to do so or not, or whether the demonstrations are being conducted legally or not (and this is in doubt in the light of ongoing court cases).  Just because you disagree with abortion, does it mean you have to protest outside clinics?

I suspect that most Jubilee Church members do support A67 and their current campaign. But now, at least some of them are beginning to question this support. My guess is that the more we expose the worst of their misdeeds, the more difficult it will be for them to maintain this support among church members. Our investigation teams are on the case, and evidence is emerging from the murkiest of quarters. Watch this space.

Andy

Carnival For Choice

This Sunday 15th April we’re holding a Pro-Choice rally and march in Worthing!

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We have called for a Carnival For Choice on this day as we are extremely alarmed at the continuation of US-styled anti-choice protests that have been happening outside abortion clinics in the UK.

One of the targets, both of last months ’40 days for life’ campaign, and of a sustained bi-weekly protest is a BPAS (British Pregnancy Advisory Service) Clinic in Brighton.

The group organising these protests outside the clinic is the aptly named ‘Abort67’ -a group that wants to make abortion illegal, regardless of circumstance. Abort67 are from Worthing, and are supported and facilitated by the Jubilee Church. Abort67 use extreme graphic images of aborted foetuses on large boards and banners, film on cameras, and have been known to call women murderers and physically encircle them.

We say NO MORE!

No more harassment and intimidation of people accessing a legal medical service!

Make your pro-choice voice heard and join us on Sunday 15th of April for a lively & fun pro-choice carnival!

You can meet us at…

Brighton Station at 8:30 am

Worthing Station at 9.15 am

Worthing High School between 9.30 & 10 am

The day will start at Worthing High School, where they congregate on a Sunday, and where we’ll give the church elders our petition. We will then parade joyfully into the town centre where we’ll let the people of Worthing know what Abort67 are getting up to in Brighton.

Bring placards, instruments, your friends and a smile!

Everyone’s welcome!

See you there!

Brighton Pro Choice ♥