Fabian Hamilton MP condemned for calling prayer “abuse and harassment”.
13 February 2018
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has strongly criticised remarks made by Fabian Hamilton, MP for Leeds North West, about pro-life vigils outside abortion clinics.
"It is absolutely astounding that Fabian Hamilton MP considers prayer is a form of abuse and harassment,” said Antonia Tully, SPUC’s Director of Campaigns. “Mr Hamilton is perpetuating the myth that women are being intimidated by the presence of a small number of peaceful people praying near an abortion clinic. Nothing could be further from the truth. Every year hundreds of women have their lives turned round for the better when they decide to keep their baby after an encounter with a pro-life vigil.”
Writing in the Yorkshire Evening Post, Mr Hamilton said that the Marie Stopes Centre in his constituency “has become a target for fanatical groups who aim to harass women.” He categorised prayer as abuse and harassment, and called for Government legislation to create “access zones” around abortion clinics.
"Mr Hamilton wants government legislation specifically to outlaw prayer and peaceful witness outside abortion clinics,” Mrs Tully continued. “This is an out and out attack on the pro-life movement in this country.
"Mr Hamilton defends the current law on abortion,” she went on. “But has he read the Care Quality Commission (CQC) report on Marie Stopes International? If he had he would see that the Marie Stopes clinics are guilty of flouting the law with practices such as bulk signing of abortion forms and inadequate procedures on consent. The 2016 CQC report found over 2,600 breaches of health and safety in Marie Stopes clinics across the country. If Mr Hamilton really cared about women, he should be calling for Marie Stopes to be stripped of its licence to operate".
Notes to editors:
Antonia Tully, SPUC Director of Campaigns and Fundraising, can be contacted on:
Or contact Alithea Williams, SPUC Communications Officer on: