Halfway through ’40 Days for Choice’

We are now halfway through lent and the ’40 Days for Choice’ campaign. As we announced before, we have almost a 1000 signtures for our petition Withdraw all support of Abort67 and we have recently sent a press-release with news from Brighton to local and international media.

Over the last few days media attention to the anti-abortion protests have escalated as a person tried to hack the BPAS website and ’40 Days for Life’ fundamentalists in London have been caught filming people going in to their local clinic, which is a sick intimidatory tactic. Support our sister-campaign Bloomsbury Pro-Choice Alliance.

Read what the Guardian is writing:

“Anti-abortion activism escalating, warns clinic targeted by vigil” 13th March 2012.

“Anti-abortion campaigners like 40 Days for Life have resorted to intimidation” 13th March 2012

Brighton Feminist Collective have also written a very good piece on why they are doing the “40 Days for Treats” campaign, supporting BPAS staff and service users.

Lastly, read Education for Choice’s latest blog article where they have transcripts of Christian-driven counselling service’s advice to pregnant women who consider an abortion, ‘40 Days of Lies’


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.


International Women’s Day

Happy Women’s Day – and all other people affected by gender-based discrimination!

Celebrate International Women’s Day with Brighton Pro Choice by pushing our online petition over 500 signatures!! This morning, we’re on 474, and we have over 200 paper signatures too. You find the online petition here.

Among the signatures are outraged residents from around the Wistons clinic, students and staff from BHASVIC, concerned citizens and a large amount of Brighton and Hove councillors.

We’ll celebrate the day by collecting more signatures in town today, raising awareness of the anti-abortion protests to the wider population.

Brighton Feminist Collective and Brighton Pro Choice wishes you all a happy 8th March.

N.B We’re looking for statements and reports by people who have experiences the intimidation tactics by Abort67, get in touch with us on brightonprochoice@riseup.net.





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!

Time to Defend Abortion Rights?

The Brighton and Hove branches of the Socialist Party is inviting the public to a discussion under the title of “Time to Defend Abortion Rights?” – Wednesday 29th February, 7.30pm at Phoenix Community Centre, BN2 9ND Brighton.

“The 1967 Abortion Act legalised abortion in Britain and went a long way in freeing working class women from dangerous and often deadly ‘backstreet’ abortion techniques – but not in Northern Ireland where the act has never been implemented. The 1967 Act, combined with other advances such as the introduction of the contraceptive pill, was a huge step forward for women, giving them some control over their own fertility for the first time. Unfortunately, just like all other victories won under capitalism, we have to fight to maintain them. Recently there has been a rise in victim-blaming, sparking the Slutwalk protests.

A successful campaign led by Brighton Socialist Party member Beth Granter, defeated Nadine Dorries’ Private Members Bill calling for abstinence only sex education to be taught to girls from the age of thirteen. Constant threats are made to abortion rights, with demands for councilling by pro-life groups to precede any abortion. These attacks are taking place against a backdrop of job losses and public sector cuts, which affect all working-class and poor people, but impact on women’s lives especially hard. In this discussion we will be looking at the history of abortion and women’s control over reproduction, the political and moral issues often raised and how effective campaigns can be waged to defend and extend existing rights. Initial reading: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/12360 and http://www.socialismtoday.org/152/women.html

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.

Pro-choice group launches intiatives to protect vulnerable women

Text from The Badger, by Ellen Willis, February 6 2012.

“An anti-abortion group protesting in Brighton have come under attack from pro-choice residents.

Abort67 protest outside the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) Clinic on Dyke Road, Brighton, every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

The group use graphic imagery to protest against abortions in a place where vulnerable women will be attending appointments to terminate unwanted pregnancies.

Their website uses similarly graphic imagery to discourage women from exercising their right to choose whether or not they have a child.

Brighton Pro Choice, a campaign group that formed at the end of 2011, held an open meeting on Monday 30th January to discuss the issues that Abort67, and other recent anti-abortion initiatives, have raised.

Approximately 40 people travelled to the meeting, including local residents and pro-choice advocators from as far as Basingstoke. Speakers included […], who started a campaign against MP Nadine Dorries’ bill for teaching abstinence to girls.

The group’s organiser, […], said: “We support the e-mailing campaign that Abortion Right have just started, where we put pressure on local MPs and institutions to support the fight against this kind of protest. We aim to work together with trade unions and local schools, as well as residents local to the clinic.”

The group’s aim is to empower and support the people who work at the clinic, and those who use it.

The Abort67 website states: “We would like to see the law reversed giving full protection to the unborn.The best way to achieve this goal of changing public policy is to first change public opinion.”

[…] said: “We recognise that we have differing opinions to the anti-choice protesters and that we do not seek to change their opinions. What we do want is to stop them from showing distressing imagery and giving out false information on the streets of Brighton, and especially outside the abortion clinic itself.”

Abort67 claim to condemn all violence, whether that violence is towards the vulnerable in our society or towards abortionists who are killing the unborn.

However, Brighton Pro Choice acknowledges the use of Abort67’s socially violent tactics, including “giving out leaflets that compare abortion to the holocaust, and that claim that abortion leads to bad mental health.”

Visitors to the clinic also report violent behaviour, with the mother of a young patient describing the group “standing outside, [making] abusive remarks, calling my daughter a murderer, shoving pictures and forms in our faces – very upsetting.”

Abortion Rights, affiliated with Brighton Pro Choice,  said: “We feel that intimidatory tactics which target individual women as they seek to access legal medical treatment is unacceptable.”