Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


AIBU to think women should be able to access abortion clinics without intimidation and harassment?

148 replies

betty62 · 20/07/2017 16:23

I live in Ealing, London and there is a Marie Stopes clinic nearby. Every day there is a' vigil' of anti-abortionists outside with pictures of embryos, plastic foetuses, religious texts and inaccurate leaflets which tell the women things such as they are more likely to get breast cancer if they have an abortion and that they are more likely to abuse any other children that they have or will have in the future. Some of the vigilers stand at the entrance to the clinic trying to force their leaflets on the clinic users, or follow them down the road when they leave, calling them 'mum' . Regardless of whether someone agrees with abortion or not, I don't think the women who are trying to access a legal service should be subject to intimidation and harassment. If you agree, and live or work in Ealing, please sign this petition that is asking the council to implement a buffer zone directly outside of the clinic.

AIBU to think women should be able to access abortion clinics without intimidation and harassment?
AIBU to think women should be able to access abortion clinics without intimidation and harassment?
OP posts:

Supersoaryflappypigeon · 20/07/2017 16:26

Signed. I'm appalled this is allowed to happen.


LurkingHusband · 20/07/2017 16:26

Aren't there already laws against this sort of thing ? It seems vaguely similar to the secondary picketing activity that was outlawed in the 80s.

I quite agree with the OP, btw. Not an Ealing resident though. (I did grow up next door in Harrow).


PotteringAlong · 20/07/2017 16:27

But it's a peaceful protest. Free speech and all that. You don't have to agree with them (I don't agree with them) but that's not a valid reason to ask them not to do it.


Bearfrills · 20/07/2017 16:27

YANBU, these protesters shouldn't be allowed anywhere near clinics or to be able to use harassment and intimidation to further their agenda.


Pemba · 20/07/2017 16:27

I agree OP, it is a disgrace. I can't sign, unfortunately, as I have no links to Ealing.

I had a feeling that this sort of harassment has been imported over here thanks to 'pro-lifers' from the US, is that correct?


Bearfrills · 20/07/2017 16:28

It is not a peaceful protest @pottering


Supersoaryflappypigeon · 20/07/2017 16:28

There's protesting and then there's harassing people. They are harassing women if they are following them and calling them "mum".


LurkingHusband · 20/07/2017 16:29

Free speech and all that

Free speech comes with responsibility.


leighdinglady · 20/07/2017 16:31

It causes harassment, alarm or distress to the women entering and should therefore be unlawful under the public order act IMO.

Having had a termination for medical reasons earlier this year, I was heartbroken enough without this. I was so stressed about meeting these sorts of people. Thankfully there weren't any at the Richmond clinic


betty62 · 20/07/2017 16:32

pottering there is a difference between a peaceful protest and harassment of people whose views you don't share. The action of the vigilers is intended to cause distress and alarm to the women using the clinic. No one is saying they don't have a right to protest, they should just not do it directly outside of the entrance to the clinic.

OP posts:

EveningShadows · 20/07/2017 16:32

Pottering, they could protest somewhere else - it's vile. It's a deeply distressing time for many women anyway without being confronted with arseholes like that Angry


RobotGoat · 20/07/2017 16:32

Don't live in Ealing so can't sign, but sad to see that this sort of thing has come over from America. People are more than welcome to lobby to change the law (although I'm pro-choice, that's their democratic right) or vote for MPs with an anti-abortion stance, but it's wrong for people to be harassing individuals at the clinic.

PotteringAlong We have restrictions on free speech in the UK. You can't protest within a certain distance of parliament, for example (or is it Downing Steeet?). I don't see why this couldn't be restricted too.


Silvereyes · 20/07/2017 16:34



Elendon · 20/07/2017 16:34

It is disgusting. In the late 90s I had to go to Liverpool to have an abortion because I didn't want to go through another miscarriage. They were out in force then, singing hymns and saying the Rosary. I do happen to be born Catholic, though no longer practising. It was obvious who the target was. A relatively young woman like myself.

I was completely happy with my early abortion decision (10 weeks) before I miscarried at 12 weeks (which would have necessitated a hospital stay as the previous two were). I had already two children by then and went on to have a third and thankfully no more threatening miscarriages. If my last pregnancy was threatening to miscarry, I would have had no hesitation in booking another abortion if needed.

It's disgusting the way we treat women regarding bodily agency and health matters.


Shoxfordian · 20/07/2017 16:35

Signed as well


blackteasplease · 20/07/2017 16:35



Gileswithachainsaw · 20/07/2017 16:38


Until these people find a cure for cancer, diseases incompatible with life, are prepared to pay for and house and keep safe women in all sorts of horrid situations or the resulting babies they can piss right off.

They don't give a shit what happens after baby is born and they aren't the ones having to carry it.


Redhead17 · 20/07/2017 16:39

You are not. Having had to visit a clinic myself I found it very very upsetting and told them to fuck off, probably not the best approach however freedom of speech


Elendon · 20/07/2017 16:39

Oh and thank you for flag posting this betty62.



ThymeLord · 20/07/2017 16:40

I'd sign if I could but I have no links to the area.

It's an absolute disgrace.


FlavaFlav · 20/07/2017 16:41

For those not local, there is also a national petition //


Gileswithachainsaw · 20/07/2017 16:41

Thank you flava I will sign!!


LurkingHusband · 20/07/2017 16:42

That national petition link is borked Sad


Majora · 20/07/2017 16:42


I hate this. There's nothing wrong with them protesting, no, but it's the manner in which they do it and the places they do it. Abortion clinics and the like do have counselling and won't push people either way to an abortion (GPs are maybe less great with this, some have agendas and shouldn't) but as far as I'm concerned, they should keep their arses away from men and women who already feel guilty about aborting a fetus in their body and may be pushed into an option that causes them distress in one way or another.

Pregnancy is harrowing and horrible, especially when it's unwanted, and it can cause a lot of dysphoria for trans men which could lead to worse mental problems and suicide. If this happened in my area I would honestly stage an anti protest or some kind of barrier to protect people going in from having to see them.

all I can say is at least they don't have those awful giant images of "this is ur babie at 2 weeks" with a fully developed fetus.


user1471450061 · 20/07/2017 16:43

Try living in Ireland...

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?