Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features

AIBU? think these bullies should not be forcing abortion clinics to close?

28 replies

twofingerstoGideon · 28/07/2015 16:55

I'd hoped to see a thread about this over the past couple of days, but haven't been able to find one. Apparently, the actions of anti-abortion protestors have closed one clinic and put another 'under threat'.

link here

I am pleased to see that an open letter to Jeremy Hunt has been drafted and is inviting signatures, but find it appalling that action hasn't been taken sooner. Why are women's reproductive rights/access to care being compromised in this way, while the powers that be stand by and watch it happen?

AIBU to think we need to watch things very carefully, or we may end up in a similar situation to some American states where termination is legal, but effectively almost impossible to access?

OP posts:

ghostyslovesheep · 28/07/2015 16:58

Imagine if anti vivisectionists protested in the same way outside of cancer treatment centres?

it's disgraceful that such harassment is allowed - protest all you want - but at a safe distance


twofingerstoGideon · 28/07/2015 17:04

I found this statement particularly saddening:
She urged the public to sign the letter. “There needs to be action taken before things escalate,” she said, adding that “hotspots” of activity at clinics don’t seem to be showing up in a drop in the number of abortions, but may be pushing up the length of time before women have abortions by scaring them away until they really have no options.

OP posts:

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed · 28/07/2015 17:04

There was a thread about it (I think) last week. There's also a petition calling for an exclusion zone so that people can't protest right outside clinics.

I agree that there should be more coverage, and more anger. It is absolutely disgraceful that this can be allowed to happen.


twofingerstoGideon · 28/07/2015 17:08

I was aware of the exclusion zone petition and signed it some time ago, but thanks for posting it again, Saskia.

However, I was unaware that these people had actually forced the closure of a clinic and that there was a possibility of another one going, too, and was surprised at the relative lack of reporting on the issue.

OP posts:

PtolemysNeedle · 28/07/2015 17:12

What did they do that made the clinic close? The guardian link doesn't really explain how it went from people protesting outside to making the whole place shut down.


KittyandTeal · 28/07/2015 17:14

Diane Abbott is campaigning for buffer zones around abortion clinics. Great idea.

Equally worrying, I think, is that Maria Miller (chair of women and equalities select committee) and Jeremy Hunt both support a reduction in the termination cut off to 20 weeks.

Maria Miller was talking about the need for babies with extreme health conditions to be picked up sooner, however, in many instances it is not medically possible!


ghostyslovesheep · 28/07/2015 17:17

the 20 week cut off is just ridiculous - MP's like it because it helps them stay in a grey area

either it's a baby and you don't abort or a woman has a choice

what would reduce the tiny number of post 20 week termination would be better access to terminations!


twofingerstoGideon · 28/07/2015 17:18

Harass women as they tried to access their services, I imagine.
There seems to be little reporting and BPAS seem unwilling to clarify which clinic. I'm sure they have their reasons for this.
Another report mentions 'unmanageable protests'.
I imagine harassment of staff may have come into it too, as it has in Ireland/USA.

OP posts:

twofingerstoGideon · 28/07/2015 17:19

^^that was to Ptolemy

OP posts:

PtolemysNeedle · 28/07/2015 17:23

Thanks. I'm still a bit confused though, if their harassment was that bad then surely it crossed the line into being illegal and could have been dealt with by the police.


SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed · 28/07/2015 17:32

Here's a link to Dianne Abbot'sEDM

I agree twofingerstoGideon, it is surprising how little this has been covered. It should be a national scandal.


twofingerstoGideon · 28/07/2015 17:34

Ptolemy BPAS seem unwilling to say exactly what drove their decision. I don't blame them. If I was running a service and felt I had no option but to close it because of the actions of bullies, I certainly wouldn't be saying exactly what informed that decision, as it would no doubt lead them to focus their energies in the direction most likely to harm that service.

OP posts:

ghostyslovesheep · 28/07/2015 17:35

Ptolemy I have been verbally abused, called vile names, jostled, hit with a placard and spat on - all while taking women for sexual health screening and information when working with a rape survivors charity - the police don't get involved unless they throw punches - they didn't - they accidentally tripped me up and didn't mean to hit me


twofingerstoGideon · 28/07/2015 17:40

None of that surprises me, ghosty.
These people style themselves an 'educational charity' and deny harassment, saying they are 'peacefully protesting'.
Why should their 'rights' to protest trump the women's rights to access a legal medical procedure without intimidation?

OP posts:

PtolemysNeedle · 28/07/2015 17:44

Thank you. Sounds like the decision may have been made because the clinic feared for the safety of it's staff and service users then. It's terrible to hear that the police wouldn't do anything.


Werksallhourz · 28/07/2015 18:05

Almost all post 20-week terminations are due to medical reasons. Under UK law, you can terminate a pregnancy for medical reasons up to term. There is no way this will change; the consequences would be horrendous for women and their partners, and I doubt British obstetricians would accept it. You simply cannot expect a woman with an unviable pregnancy to carry her baby to term, knowing that it will not survive l&d or may die shortly afterwards, or that it will endanger the woman's life.

When they talk about reducing the cut off date for terminations to 20 weeks, what they really mean are terminations for "social" reasons. There seems to be some concern within the Conservative party over "gender disappointment" terminations post-20 weeks, that women are terminating pregnancies because they have discovered they are carrying a sex they or their families do not want.

I am not entirely convinced this is the case whatsoever. The number of post 20 week terminations is so small and almost entirely for medical reasons to do with fetal development etc. I do not really see any evidence that late gender terminations are taking place in any substantial volume at all.

That said, a lot of MPs do not seem to understand that UK law allows for TFMRs up to term and this is pretty much non-negotiable, so god knows what Maria Miller is talking about.

As for these "protestors", I always find it very interesting how their "life begins at birth" stance seemingly takes no notice of the extraordinary number of miscarriages and stillbirths that occur in the UK every year: some 60,000+ more cases than the termination figures.

Surely, if every life is precious, then they would have far greater success, public support and "save more babies" if they campaigned for greater awareness about, say, pre-eclampsia, cervical insufficiency, or the risks of GD. Raising funds for Tommys would save more babies than their pathetic idiocies, but you never see them running a marathon for that, do you?

That they do not is very telling, to my mind. And I would give them a piece of my mind if I ever passed one of these "protests" on the street.

Bunch of oblivious fuckers.


limitedperiodonly · 28/07/2015 18:19

There was a fairly recent thread because I posted on it.

I'm torn.

I really want to ban these fuckers but I also think that you shouldn't ban their right to protest and politely hand out leaflets or requests to have a word.

However, any anti-social behaviour is adequately covered by laws covering public order, trade union picketing or harassment, alarm and distress should the police be up for it.

Displaying upsetting imagery, particularly on private property, and haranging people should be cause for moving on or arrest after good warning and persistent behaviour.


pointythings · 28/07/2015 18:22

Werkz you've said it all. Flowers


HelenaDove · 28/07/2015 18:25

ghosty i thought spitting WAS/IS assault.


HelenaDove · 28/07/2015 18:29

YY Werks Not to mention the fact that the same people then moan about single parents on benefits or moan about them working and not spending enough time with their child etc.

It all comes from the same misogynistic place.


kali110 · 28/07/2015 18:43

Yanbu this is disgustimg. I signed the buffer zone petition when it first started. I'm disgusted people are allowed to harass women with pictures of foetus that are usually a lot older than they say, call them women vile names even people who are simply there to get contraception/std tests.
It's wrong.mind you when iv spoken in a debate about this the abuse i got from people against abortion was absolutely vile.


KittyandTeal · 28/07/2015 19:07

Werk that's pretty much what I thought.

They need to look carefully at the statistics of women who have terminations for non medical reasons that late. I'd put money on it being a minority.

I hope that it will be almost impossible to change the law in cases of tfmr, however, I do think that the publicity around it (all be it minor) doesn't explain the true facts and makes many people who were in my position worry (who had a tfmr at 22 weeks, our dd2 had Edwards). I feel lucky I was able to make the right choice for my baby, I will fight for all womens choice to do what they feel is right for them and their baby but especially when it comes to a reduction in the limit of termination.


Doobigetta · 28/07/2015 19:22

I'm so sorry that happened, Kitty. It must have been horrific. It makes me so angry that people in the position you were in have to deal with such ignorance on top of everything else. I signed the petition a couple of weeks ago.


KittyandTeal · 28/07/2015 19:48

Thank you doob. You'd be surprised (or maybe not) that many people think I should have told people I suffered a late miscarriage or a stillbirth (technically it would have been classed as late miscarriage at that gestation) rather than tell them the truth.

I had a shitty decision to make but I did what was best for us. I refuse to believe that women would walk into a hospital at 20+ weeks requesting a termination because actually they've changed their minds! I imagine the majority of non medical terminations at this gestation are women who for some reason have not realised they're pregnant or, like a pp suggested, didn't have access to a termination prior to this. Terminations at this gestation are pretty horrific, I refuse to believe anyone would take that decision lightly as much of the publicity suggest.

Sorry, I have a bit of a bee in my bonnet about it atm!


Ruledbycatsandkids6 · 28/07/2015 20:00

Utter utter cunts.

I signed the exclusion petition to Theresa May a while back and am continuing to campaign.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?