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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Opposition to latest London abortion clinic growing

25 October 2011

Opposition to latest London abortion clinic growing Residents, Christians and Muslims unite to protest over “secretive” centre near Westfield Stratford City and 2012 Olympic Park London, 25 October 2011: Opposition to a newly-opened British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) abortion centre is gaining momentum.

Last Saturday (22 October) a large group (pictured) of Christians, Muslims and local residents united to spend the day campaigning against the BPAS centre in Stratford, which has been opened secretively.

Thousands of pro-life magazines and campaign flyers, offering practical and educational help, were distributed around the busy shopping centre and newly-opened Westfield.

40 days for Life and the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) organised the day, with support from Muslim organisations, local churches and residents.

Alan Craig, ex-Newham councillor and former leader of Newham Christian Peoples Alliance, opened the day, saying: “BPAS has become a large money-spinning business and this new centre in Stratford is pure commercial opportunism by them to take advantage of Westfield Stratford City and the Olympics. BPAS have a vested interest in doing as many abortions as possible. Don’t think for one moment that they are concerned with the best interests of women and children.” Alan was joined by Dr. Majid Katme, spokesman for the Islamic Medical Association. Dr. Katme noted that: “Today is not a one-off event, but only the beginning of this campaign.”

Fr. Mark Swires, a local Catholic priest, led the group in prayer outside the BPAS centre.

Plans were first uncovered by a team of researchers from SPUC led by Daniel Blackman. Following discussions with local residents, SPUC launched a public awareness campaign and local residents sent letters to Lyn Brown their MP, and to local councillors.

Mr Blackman, who organised the day, said: “This campaign is unique in that we are trying to have an abortion facility shut down before it’s even up and running. The way local residents and tenants have been treated by One Housing is disgusting. Killing unborn children is wrong and contributes nothing to preparing for the 2012 Olympics and paralympics, quite the opposite.”

In a separate move, neighbours of the abortion centre, including residents in the same building, have petitioned Mick Sweeny, chief executive of the landlord One Housing, protesting that they have been kept in the dark about the secretive and controversial move.

They wrote**: "We are extremely concerned that the ground floor at 32-36 Romford Road, Stratford E15, has been leased out to abortion-providers BPAS to carry out terminations up to, currently, 14 weeks, and furthermore that this has been done without any informed consultation. One Housing is apparently proud of its reputation for social responsibility, offering according to your website welcome support to tenants with complex and multiple needs, to those suffering from mental ill-health, to teenage parents and to those with learning difficulties. We welcome these One Housing values that prioritise vulnerable people. However these values are directly contradicted by BPAS who - with One Housing’s agreement - will terminate unborn and unwanted children on your premises. Furthermore BPAS’s Chief Executive has made it plain and public that she reckons mothers of disabled unborn children should be allowed to terminate their pregnancy up to full term; this of course is extremely threatening to your disabled tenants who may reasonably conclude that BPAS believes disabled children are of less intrinsic worth than unimpaired children. Abortion is a very sensitive issue to all concerned, and we object strongly to the crass insensitive decision you have made to allow BPAS to use your premises here. Furthermore we strongly object that, in abdication of your responsibilities to us as your local tenants, you did not see fit to consult or even inform us. We would be grateful if you would urgently reverse your decision and terminate the BPAS lease." ENDS * Daniel Blackman (SPUC and 40 Days for Life) can be contacted on 07432 633427. * Alan Craig (Christian Peoples Alliance) can be contacted on 07939 547198. * Dr. Majid Katme (Islamic Medical Association UK) can be contacted on 07944 240 622. Notes for editors: * A high-resolution of a photograph (above) of the vigil can be downloaded at **Copies of the full letter to the chief executive of One Housing are available on request.

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