US Style Abortion Protests Raise Intimidation Concerns


The UK’s president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has said that he fears American-style protests being staged outside of UK abortion clinics may lead to women being intimidated and may deter doctors from offering termination services. He has also made clear his fears this may signal the early stages of a devolving situation that could culminate in violence against termination-providing doctors.

Reports the Guardian:

Falconer called the rising use of vigils and human chains at clinics an unwelcome and worrying development that could also deter younger doctors from opting to perform abortions. Falconer said colleagues were very anxious and worried about the provision of the service. “It doesn’t help to have a sort of clamour [against] individual people who are trying to provide a difficult service for women in a period of their lives when they are in great difficulty.”

While there is no evidence that doctors carrying out abortions have been threatened in Britain, some abortion doctors in the US were murdered, he said.

Asked if he was worried that doctors here could become a target too, Falconer said: “We don’t have any evidence for that, but that could be a worry. It’s obviously not as bad but it seems to be going down that line.”

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), which has strong ties to American groups like the Alliance Defense Fund, has denied that its campaigners have ever engaged in activities that may have intimidated or harassed women trying to use termination facilities, and has categorically denied intimidating doctors with its “peaceful prayer vigils.”

Affiliated vigils have however seen anti-choice protesters hold signs featuring graphic depictions of aborted foetuses.

This comes after anti-abortion protesters have over recent months staged vigil events in various cities throughout the UK, including EdinburghBathBristolBrightonNewcastleCardiffLincolnLiverpool and Sheffield.

One vigil held outside of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service clinic in London, like many others, saw a strong counter-protest by some 500 pro-choice advocates.


Related Reading:
BBC Plans Broadcast From Abortion Clinic
Irish Government Defeats ‘Woman’s Life At Risk’ Abortion Bill
Identifying as a Minority Risks Fragmenting Society?
British Cardinal Wants US Style Pre-Abortion Scans

Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to Steve Rhodes.


Ralph Henderson
Ralph Henderson6 years ago

Voice your opinions freely, vote, write letters, etc., but if the law is the will of the majority (and it is) to allow abortions, stand aside and only support people with love and understanding.
You can't know the reasons a person may decide this or that, so the best you can do is offer help and support no matter what choices are made.

I saw one comment state anti-abortionists were just as concerned with health and wellness of babies (and I'm sure they'd say children, teens, and adults also), but I've seen what concern is and what is merely voiced.
What is voiced (regardless of the words) is not necessarily concern. It's what you do and never what you say.
I've seen (and I've been) those who are sick, hungry, homeless, and without hope. Never mistake speaking (or protesting) for caring.
You can't force people to do what you think they should do, but you can love them, help meet their physical needs, and perhaps give them better options (although often better with your mouth closed).

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle6 years ago

I wish the U.S. would only export goods and democratic ideas. It seems our fundies have had influence across the big water. Sorry, Britain.

Iona S.
Iona S.6 years ago

In the UK there has been no violence against abortion practioners, and no intimidation (unless you call just being outside an abortion clinic "intimidation"). So why the alarmist reporting?

"I find it amazing that they're ONLY "pro-fetus". NEVER "pro-baby". Once the kid is born, their interest is GONE.." (Leslea)

Leslea, this is simply not correct. There are charities in the UK which support women with finance, housing, advice on matters like budgeting and cooking, mother-and-toddler groups, both during the woman's pregnancy and for months and if necessary years after the birth. Women, that is, who are facing a problem pregnancy, have been advised to abort, feel it may be their only option but would prefer to consider the option of carrying to term.

Catherine D.
Catherine D6 years ago

Make the anti-abortionists adopt all the fetuses brought to term through their meddling.
Especially the ones that survive birth with deformities or crippling illness.

Make the RTLs pay full child support if the woman decides to keep the child.

That would put a quick halt to the "right to life" rabble.

Debra Van Way
Debra Van Way6 years ago

Seems like the anti-choice taliban is spreading every where. You folks in the UK have my sympathy.

Ken W.
Ken W6 years ago

this is BS

Troy G.
Troy Grant6 years ago

Save the fetuses, kill the adults?

Ron B.
Ron B6 years ago

Be it in the US, the UK or wherever, the ultimate goal of the hard-core element in the anti-choice movement, beyond banning all abortions even to save the life of the mother, has always been to ban all forms of birth control. These fanatics are being allowed to weld power far out of proportion to their numbers. They must be opposed and stopped at all costs.

Bartley Deason
Bartley Deason6 years ago

Elaine, where are you???? This is the perfect post for your anti-abortion dribble. Where are you??? Anybody seen Elaine?

Carole Hunt
Carole Hunt6 years ago

Life is precious and too often we hear of women having multiple abortions and I often wonder why adults cannot be more responsible when they know what the consequences are. I believe all women should be able to make an informed choice with regards to their body and abortion but how many women really know the full procedure and details of abortion before they make the decision to terminate.