Portsmouth Council shuts down support for pregnant women
14 November 2017
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has responded to the news that Portsmouth Council has voted to “do all within its powers” to prevent pro-life vigils outside the bpas abortion clinic at St Mary’s Hospital Health Campus in Milton.
SPUC Communications Officer Alithea Williams said: “This is another move in the deeply worrying trend to shut down free speech and prevent women from being offered real choice.
“There is ample evidence that abortion is harmful to women’s mental and physical health. We also know from the witness of the many mothers who have been helped by pro-life volunteers that women often end up at abortion clinics because they feel they have no other choice. Why should volunteers be vilified for offering help to women in need?
“One of the deputies spoke very movingly about how the abortion clinic offered her no options when she was pregnant through rape, and of the trauma she suffered for years afterwards. She said she wished there had been people there offering support. If this motion is acted on, more women will be denied access to support, and more will suffer the trauma of abortion.”
The debate followed deputations from the public. The motion was supported by a representative from Hampshire Pro-Choice. It was opposed by Caroline Farrow, who recounted her story of abortion after rape, by Lisa Butler, the head of the 40 Days for Life group in Portsmouth, Isabel Vaughn-Spruce, the head of 40 Days for Life in Birmingham, who showed a video of pro-choice counter protesters pushing an elderly priest, and a member of the public who emphasised how caring the vigil participants were towards women and their unborn children.
Notes to editors:
For more information, please contact Alithea Williams, SPUC Communications Officer, on: