Category Archives: Brighton Pro-Choice

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

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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

Brighton Pro-Choice Benefit

Today is halfway through lent and we can be satisfied to say that we have collected close to a 1000 signatures on our petition!

Next week we will celebrate with a fundraiser evening at Cowley Club, serving food and showing a film. The evening will start at 7pm with film from 8pm onwards.

 

Letter to the Argus and more

A while ago a letter was written to the Argus expressing concern over the anti-choice protests outside Wistons:

“I AM writing to express my grave concern over anti-choice protests which seem to take place regularly outside the BPAS clinic in Brighton.

As a relative newcomer, I was deeply shocked to see the protest, which uses large, disturbing images of late-stage abortions to try to put women off exercising their lawful reproductive rights and choices.

While I respect the right of the individual to have their own views on this subject, I find it distasteful and intimidating to already vulnerable people to see these kinds of shock tactics used by a local religious group.

I also feel that by using these images, this group is exposing other people to traumatic and insensitive trigger images, with no regard to the impact this kind of imagery can have. It seems to somewhat lack the notion of Christian kindness and forgiveness I’ve heard so much about. Likewise, the fact it protests close to a number of educational establishments is irresponsible.

The group impinges on the safeguarding and responsible education of young people on sex and relationships. It appears to be trying to undermine rights to contraception and support during unwanted pregnancies.

[…], Preston Street, Brighton”

We’d encourage anyone to write to the Argus with their own concerns, especially people who live in the area or a regularly exposed to the protests. When people from our group collected signatures for our petition on Friday outside the clinic we had massive support from local residents and BHASVIC students who are upset and harassed by Abort67 on a daily basis now.

We also spoke to a mother who has her children at a nearby nursery where they are exposed to the images every day now – she said that she could easily rally another 50 very upset parents from that nursery. Seems that Abort67, big surprise, forever care more about foetuses than born people, young or old.

I heard no one say that they welcome the anti-abortion protests, all were positive when they realised we were pro-choice!

We have messages of support from nine local councillors and many more have signed our petition, which means that our campaign is reaching not only outwards but also upwards! Write to your local councillor and push for action.

Lastly, long article in SchNews outlining the rise of fundamentalist anti-abortion activity in the UK – Abort Mission.

 

40 Days of Choice!

Here in Brighton and in other places we are coming to the 9th day of the 40 Days of Choice campaign and it is receiving a lot of support and appreciation!

The 40 Days of Treat people are keeping it up and are getting love from the BPAS staff, on Twitter and in reality!

We’re handing out flyers and collecting signatures for our Withdraw all support of Abort67 petition near the Wistons clinic a few days a week now, which has been greatly welcomed by passers by and especially staff and students at nearby BHASVIC college, who have to walk by the blown up gore-pictures everyday now.

The police is asking everyone who is upset and disturbed by the Abort67 graphic gore-pictures (even bigger now) to phone in on their non-emergency number 101 and report it. They do ask them to be taken away regularly, which makes the street safe and user-friendly for another afternoon.

Check out what is happening elsewhere for the 40 Days of Choice and come to our meetings to get involved. We need to remind ourselves, and others, that we are the Pro-Choice majority!

Campaign: Withdraw support of Abort67!

As Abort67 have started their 40 Days for Life campaign in Brighton, we launch our counter campaign to remove Abort67 from our streets. AS a step, we’re collecting signatures to present to organisations that support Abort67 in their harassing tactics.

Sign the petition Withdraw all support of Abort67 here.

Petition text:

“We, the undersigned, condemn the intimidating and aggressive tactics employed by the anti-abortion group Abort67 outside the BPAS Wistons Centre in Brighton.

Abort67 tactics include large graphic imagery displayed outside the clinic entrance, giving out misinformation and using physical encircling to try and prevent people from entering the clinic. They target people who are already in a vulnerable position, trying to stop them exercising their legal right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.

We urge your organisation to withdraw all support, direct or indirect, of Abort67 and their presence in Brighton.”

Please spread widely!

 

40 Days of Treats

During the next 40 days, we invite everyone to take part in Brighton Feminist Collectives 40 Days of Treats campaign, showing the staff at the BPAS clinic in Brighton that they are supported and needed. The campaign is to counter the lovely Abort67 that will protest outside the clinic for 40 days straight during lent, starting today, making both staff and service users feels distressed and harassed entering the clinic – a nice touch.

Learn more and see the treats that have already been delivered on the Brighton 40 Days of Treats tumblr. Comment here if you want to get involved, contact Brighton Feminist Collective or come to one of our meetings!

E-mail campaign towards Jubilee Community Church in Worthing

Abortion Rights, a pro-choice organisation based in London, are running an e-mail campaign aimed towards Jubilee Community Church in Worthing, urging them to stop supporting the tactics of Abort67. On thier website you find a e-mail that you can amend if you want to, and send to the church leaders in Worthing. It asks the church to withdraw it support of Abort67, as this group uses intimidation, misinformation and graphic and distressing imagery to confront women who seek the services of the BPAS clinic in Brighton.

Sarah Cope from Haringey Green Party writes about the campaign and the church’s response on her blog: Disgraceful harassment of women seeking abortions is supported by church.

In his reply, Colin of the Jubilee Community Church says that “you are correct in your assumption that we as church leaders support what they [Abort67] are doing. There is no harassment, calling people murderers, or any such thing. What they do is show people the reality of what abortion does, and who it affects the most.”

Well, we have evidence aImagend statements from several people that they do indeed call women who have had abortions murderers, mother of dead babies and so on. We have their leaflets that very clearly states that they compare abortion with Hitler’s extermination of Jews, and we know that Abort67 leaders were in court recently for refusal to remove graphic imagery when asked by police. Visit the Abort67 website (www.abort67.co.uk) to see these images for yourself. We also have evidence that women are sometimes physically blocked from entering  the clinic as the anti-choice protesters encircle them and make it very difficult for them to access the premises. For a woman seeking services, this is extremely harrowing.

Click the link to write to Jubilee Community Church Worthing yourself.

Reproductive Rights under attack in Brighton

Anti-choice protesters have been giving out flyers and showing blown-up pictures of aborted foetuses outside the Wiston BPAS Clinic on Dyke Rd., Brighton, for some time now, and we want to do something about it!

We do not welcome upsetting and harrowing anti-abortion material on our streets, especially outside a clinic where women might already distressed to visit.

The anti-choice protests take place twice a week by a group of people from Abortion67, linked to the Jubilee Community Church in Worthing.

In the news: 

The Worthing Herald – “Worthing church accused of ‘intimidation’ at abortion clinic”

The Telegraph – “Anti-Abortion activists arrested over graphic banner

Also visit the Abort67 website, but be warned of the graphic images on display.