Category Archives: Current campaigns

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!

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.

Anti-choice extremism: make your voice heard!

Text from Abortion Rights‘ website: 

“On Monday 30thJanuary, the leader of hardline anti-abortion group Abort67 made his latest court appearance in connection with protests outside the BPAS Wistons clinic in Brighton.

Abort67 supporters have been protesting regularly outside the clinic, displaying graphic pictures of aborted foetuses and causing distress to clients and staff. Protesters have allegedly surrounded and intimidated women and even asked for their phone numbers so that they could ‘keep track’ of them.

A woman who ran the gauntlet of protesters recently said: “It makes you feel more scared than you were before. It’s wrong to make you feel uncomfortable – they continued to talk as we tried to walk away and wouldn’t accept our views. It’s very intimidating.”

The mother of one young client commented: “Standing outside, abusive remarks, calling my daughter a murderer, shoving pics and forms in our faces – very upsetting.”

Previous protests at the same location, which also saw police involvement, have seen activists reportedly filming clinic staff and patients entering the premises.

Abort67 is a particularly unpleasant group.  It is allied to the militant ‘Center for Bioethical Reform’, an anti-abortion organisation which tours university campuses in the USA and Canada, touting its ‘Genocide Awareness Project’ which compares abortion to the Nazi Holocaust in graphic terms.

The groups are so close that Abort67 is hosting a talk by the Center for Bioethical Reform’s founder in London on Tuesday 31st January.

Abort67 are following in the Centre’s footsteps. The leaflet distributed to women entering the Brighton clinic is not only riddled with inaccuracies (for example, that foetuses can feel pain from 5 weeks) and offensive language (mentioning ‘strangling kittens’ and ‘hosing down’ children with an Uzi) but with references to Hitler, genocide and the extermination of Jews.

What is less well known is that backing Abort67 is the Jubilee Community Church, an evangelical Christian congregation in Worthing.  The church supports both the aims and the methods of Abort67.  The group’s founder is a member and sometime preacher at the church, hosting online webforums on abortion and preaching sermons on the issue.  Recently, the church even held a Cake Sale in support of the group.

While Abortion Rights respects the rights of those who object to abortion to express their opinions openly, we feel that intimidatory tactics which target individual women as they seek to access legal medical treatment is unacceptable.

We feel it is reasonable to ask Jubilee Church to stop supporting the work of Abort67 and to find an alternative means of expressing their anti-choice views, directed towards public opinion rather than targeting individual women.”

Support Abortion Rights e-mail campaign here