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Attack on pavement counsellors ignores women, says SPUC

3 October 2016

This little girl is alive today because her Mum was helped by a pro-life pavement counsellor

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has hit back at an attack on pavement counsellors, accusing the media of censoring the voices of women.

A number of media outlets have launched an assault on pavement counsellors, especially the Good Counsel Network (GCN) - but have declined to talk to any of the women helped by the organisation.

Channel 4's Dispatches is airing an episode on Wednesday called "Undercover: Britain's Abortion Extremists." Ahead of its release, the Mail on Sunday has published an inflammatory piece accusing the GCN of lying to and intimidating women. The article quotes Keir Starmer, the former head of the Crown Prosecution Service, and a Labour MP, who is a known advocate for "buffer zones", areas outside abortion clinics where people would be prohibited from standing.

However, the GCN have said in a statement that none of the media sources has accepted an invitation to speak to women who have been helped. Hundreds of mothers have chosen to avoid abortion after accepting GCN's help outside clinics, but Channel 4, the Mail on Sunday, and others all refused to speak to any of them.

Clare McCullough, founder of the GCN, also stated: "I categorically deny that I, or any of our staff and volunteers, have any intention of upsetting women."

Commenting on the reports, SPUC General Secretary Paul Tully said: "This new attack on pavement counselling makes one thing very clear. The abortion providers are out to protect their income stream. Their allies in the media and in parliament have no interest in the stories of women who have been helped. None of the media outlets has spoken to the most important people involved- the women themselves. Why are we not hearing their stories? Why are these women being silenced?"

"Many hundreds of women, some in absolutely desperate circumstances, have been given the practical help they wanted to enable them to keep their babies." Mr Tully continued. It is the stories of these women that we need to hear, not the opinions of journalists and the abortion lobby."

In the video below, one woman describes how help and support from a pavement counsellor gave her the strength to keep her baby: 

Notes to Editors

Mail on Sunday article:

Response from GCN: 

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