To think holding a vigil outside Marie Stopes is wrong? and to wish there was something I could do (may be upsetting)

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Menolly Thu 03-Apr-14 00:08:15

The local Catholic church is planning another vigil next week outside Marie Stopes, I am Catholic although attend a different parish (because I disagree with this ones overly judgmental congregation and uncaring priest). I think it is a horrible thing to be doing, I can see the clinic from my flat and at the last one they blocked the pavement meaning that people had to ask them to move to get through, whether they were going to the clinic or up the road (which leads to the high street, train stations, bus stops etc.).

They do move out the way when asked and they are peaceful whilst there, just singing and praying the rosary, however if I was a teenage girl going in for advice or was in some terrible situation where I needed their services I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to push my way through. Ignoring the fact that the clinic also does STD testing, contraceptive advice, smear tests etc, an abortion isn't an easy thing to go through whatever the circumstances and I think adding to that stress is a terrible thing to do, then considering that these people don't know that the woman they are upsetting aren't going there because they've been raped or because of some other horrible circumstance it makes me really angry.

My eldest child was conceived through rape when I was just 15, I kept him and he's beautiful and I have never regretted that decision but I had a lot of family support that other women might not have and there was a time when I did look at my options and having a bunch of judgmental people singing outside whilst I was trying to get advice would have made things much harder for me at a time when I seriously considered suicide, I hated myself for letting that happen to me and felt guilty for all the stress it put on my parents, I felt I was being judged constantly and lost my own faith for a long time because I couldn't stand the thought that God would let that happen or the guilt and judging associated with church and I hate the idea that people would do something so insensitive and could push someone to making the wrong decision or feeling even worse.

I find the vigils upsetting and I could hear them singing from my living room last time, what I went through was nearly 10 years ago now, I can't imagine how much worse it would be for someone who had been through something more recently or had less support.

I just wish there was something I could do to make these people, who I am sure think they are doing a good thing, see how harmful their vigil could be, but so far I can't think of any way of doing that...

So AIBU to think they shouldn't being doing this? Also if anyone can think of a peaceful way of showing my disgust I'd be grateful.

geologygirl Thu 03-Apr-14 00:21:37

Yes I agree with you. I think its fine for them to have their beliefs and opinions on abortion, but holding a vigil is pretty inconsiderate and intolerant of other peoples choices. The reasons for women choosing abortion are wide-ranging and I recall having to go to a clinic when I was 17. I came out after my termination and was met with a pretty full on crowd, who were right in my face telling me I needed saving/needed God etc. I jumped jnto tge waiting taxi with my mum and burst into tears. It was the last thing I needed and actually frightening at the time. They were literally banging on the car window and the thought of women going through the same thing makes me so sad to be honest.

Menolly Thu 03-Apr-14 00:28:40

thanks that must have been awful.

They are scum. The clinic might be able to get a court order to the effect that they have to keep enough distance to allow patients a clear way inside; I'd be tempted to either organise a rival vigil of standing silently with placards proclaiming women's right to control their own bodies or maybe just walk past them a few times and trip them up or spill coffee on them.

SaucyJack Thu 03-Apr-14 00:56:35

I dunno. I'm not Catholic or pro-life, but I should imagine if I was then protesting peacefully would seem like the absolutely right and responsible thing to do.

NeedsAsockamnesty Thu 03-Apr-14 01:06:26

How confident are you?

geologygirl Thu 03-Apr-14 01:11:54

It was awful and I women are so vulnerable in those situations already. Hold a protest outside your church if you want to raise awareness and make your point peacefully! Outside marie stopes is inappropriate and could mean that vulnerable women that need help actually dont walk inside for fear of having to come into contact with this sort of crowd.

Menolly Thu 03-Apr-14 01:16:38

SolidGold, I like the rival vigil idea, suspect as it's during the day on a week day I'd end up on my own though.

NeedsAsockamnesty, Very confident, why?

Menolly Thu 03-Apr-14 01:19:45

geologygirl, exactly, the church is by the train station and lots of people walk past so it would have plenty of impact without scaring vulnerable women.

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 03-Apr-14 01:21:30

There is a way of helping, if not showing your disgust. Create a distraction when you see someone going in. If you are not easily embarrassed, tell them what you think of them.

Not easily done, I know. But it draws the Eye of Sauron and makes you feel brave and better.grin. As well as helping out someone in desperate need.smile

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 03-Apr-14 01:23:41

What I meant was tell the protesters what you think of them.

lessonsintightropes Thu 03-Apr-14 01:24:32

They are extremely poor Christians from my perspective. How can they reconcile the basic messages of Christianity with making vulnerable people so unhappy and judged? I like Dione's idea about distraction. You could also speak to the clinic directly and ask them if there is a way you could help/show your support more directly.

Menolly Thu 03-Apr-14 01:45:36

Dione, I like it, I will have to work on ways to word it without starting with 'I think you are a bunch of insensitive twats and I think you should fuck off and choke on your judgey pants' but I'm sure I can think of something, even if it doesn't change anyone's views at least I'd have tried and hopefully made it a little easier for people trying to go in.

Or you could spend some time staring hard at the protesters and taking photographs of them... I would draw the line at actual assault, much they all deserve a good slap, but using 'peaceful'intimidation tactics right back at them has always seemed like a good idea.

confuddledDOTcom Thu 03-Apr-14 02:42:29

I can't believe there's a second post in probably as many weeks about this sad

I'm a Christian and call myself both prolife and prochoice, which I think I'm not alone in. As I said on the other thread it is a moral choice and you can't regulate other people's moral choices. I don't think the way people behave mirrors the way Jesus behaved. The one person who could judge and criticise and He never did, when He said let he who is without sin cast the first stone He could have cast it Himself and He didn't. I don't go to church at the moment because I can't reconcile the way Christians behave with my faith.

My OH had the snip done at one of the clinics and I was worried about going there with him because there are always people outside it. Fortunately it was a quiet day!

Morloth Thu 03-Apr-14 02:51:00

I like the idea of just standing there and staring at them, possibly taking photos.

They don't give a fuck about unborn babies, if they did there would be plenty of willing hands and money helping with the babies who are born in less than ideal circumstances, but there isn't. So where are all these people who talk about right to life when that life needs some actual useful help? eh? No where to be fucking found IME.

It is all about controlling women, nothing to do with the babies at all. Stupid Fuckers.

fideline Thu 03-Apr-14 02:57:41

Dione, I like it

Me too. Much better than the beating them round the heads with their own placards option that keeps flashing tough my head.

I wonder whether we are near the same clinic Meno?

Eebahgum Thu 03-Apr-14 04:16:41

I just wanted to say I applaud your stance and what you are thinking of doing. I am not religious, but it angers me when people act in harmful or upsetting ways "in the name of their religion". It doesn't strike me as a very Christian way to behave regardless of what their personal views on abortion are.

Pitmountainpony Thu 03-Apr-14 04:52:26

I don't think they are acting in this harmful way as some see it, in the name of their religion...they are doing it for the sake of developing human beings, some of whom will be close to 24 weeks gestation and we now are able to save premature babies at this gestation.....so they are making a stand.
They have a right to do this.
Women have a right to act within the law regarding terminating a pregnancy.
Not everyone thinks all laws are just and I am grateful people have the freedom to stand up when they feel something is not moral.
Anti abortion protesters see abortion as killing babies.
Of course they will protest. How could they not, given that is their belief on a pretty emotive issue......in their view the taking of a young human life.

Morloth Thu 03-Apr-14 04:55:36

So where are they when these unwanted babies are born Pitmountainpony?

No respect whatsoever for anyone who does this unless they are heavily involved in helping to look after the children they 'save'.

Where are they? There are so many of them protesting outside clinics and mouthing off online, and yet children's services are vastly understaffed and funded.

Where are they?

Off trying to control other people's bodies is where they are. They don't give a fuck about the babies, if they did they would do something useful.

Pitmountainpony Thu 03-Apr-14 05:00:44

So eebagum. ...it angers You when they act in a harmful way....protesting....it angers them when people act in a harmful way, ending the life of a developing baby...it is amazing they are as peaceful as they are, considering what they see the act of termination to be.
I am happy to live in a world where people do have the right to control whether an unwanted pregnancy proceeds beyond a certain point.

I am happy people have freedom to challenge whether things we consider rights, at this point in history, should exist in their current form.

I am lucky I have never had to make a decision to end a pregnancy as it is not one I could make easily or lightly and I appreciate hearing both sides of the argument for this momentous life changing decision and some would suggest life ending decision. They have a right to make that stand whatever my desires and choices would be faced with such a dilemma.

Pitmountainpony Thu 03-Apr-14 05:11:02

Morloth, my understanding is the waiting list to adopt babies in the Uk is extensive. It took a friend 5 years to adopt.not that that is the point really.
I doubt they save many babies as such, but maybe their conscience us clearer for trying to change the law.....anyway I support their right to protest.....even if I had to cross their picket line to receive services they disagree with. Who wants to live in a world where people cannot express their moral convictions in a peaceful way. I don't. I was very pragmatic about termination till I spoke to someone who nursed during them and I saw what a baby is like beyond a certain gestation. I don't think it is so odd for people to have strong feelings on this subject, because it is a moral issue about human life. We are mostly horrified by infanticide..common practice in China till recently.....for those protesters they see abortion in a very similar way and as technology improves and it becomes possible to save premature babies earlier, it will make this debate even more challenging and more emotive than bit already is.
I support rights of the women who seek abortion equally to those of the protesters, protesting the morality if this act.

VashtaNerada Thu 03-Apr-14 05:12:08

You should also let the police on 101 know that you find it distressing (use that word!) and mention they're blocking the path.

confuddledDOTcom Thu 03-Apr-14 05:27:16

There's lots of things I don't see as being moral and I don't do them. There's lots of people out there who are doing things that I, as a Christian, feel are wrong. Does that give me the right to protest them? The whole point about morals are they are the issues that guide us personally.

Pitmountainpony Thu 03-Apr-14 05:41:43

Well yes it does give you a right to protest it even if you choose not to....I disagree with genital mutilation and may other things that are custom in it her cultures. Whilst I choose not to protest I am very glad the right exists should I choose to exercise it. The whole point about morals being that they guide you personally .....what does that mean? You don't believe in murder but if your neighbour does it you won't judge...that is their business. If the poverty stricken mother drowns her newborn child she cannot afford to raise, well that is her personal morality......the fact is that a significant number of people do not believe that the current law on abortion is moral and they therefore think it is not a personal issue as it affects the life of another, who they deem to have a right to life.
Now you may not agree with their moral viewpoint but if you had this viewpoint, protesting would be a pretty consistent action to take.
There are many protests I have not agreed with, but I am glad people have the freedom to protest, even if it could make me uncomfortable. That is what living in a free country looks like.

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