Protest against BPAS clinic in east London continues

// 17 January 2012

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Female symbol via Wikimedia CommonsLast autumn, BPAS opened a new clinic in Stratford, London, to provide a free walk-in service and was met almost immediately with protests by members of the Christian Peoples Alliance party, 40 days for Life and SPUC with some local residents. According to the Newham Recorder of 2 November 2011:

The protest was opened by Alan Craig, ex-Newham councillor and former leader of Newham Christian People’s Alliance […]

Joining Alan was Dr Majid Katme from the Islamic Medical Association. He said: “Today is not a one-off event, but only the beginning of this campaign.” Friar Mark Swires, a local Catholic priest, also led the group in prayer outside the BPAS centre.

It seems that Dr Majid Katme’s statement is not without foundation; indeed, it looks as though the protest has now escalated from handing out magazines and flyers outside the clinic. As the Newham Recorder reported on 13 January 2012:

Around 15 residents and neighbours addressed a petition to Mike Sweeny, chief executive of One Housing, claiming they were misled by the planning application for the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) centre on Romford Road which simply read “clinic” online.

The campaign is now continuing with a team of protestors distributing information flyers outside the association’s base in Chalk Farm, north London.

Daniel Blackman, speaking for SPUC, added: “This was just the first of our protests outside One Housing. We plan to be back”.

As Clare Murphy, for BPAS, says (and personally, I’m inclined to agree with her):

BPAS is a charity that has worked to support women for over 40 years and we are pleased that we are now able to provide care in East London. It is disappointing that groups with an ethical objection to abortion are seeking to start a campaign to stop women getting access to sexual health services they need.

[Public domain image via Wikipedia Commons]

Comments From You

Julie // Posted 18 January 2012 at 12:12 am

I am not keen on the headline for this article: “Protest against BPAS continues.” It does not explain who is protesting and their sexist agenda which is to stand outside a clinic intimidating women. I don’t live in London, but if I did I would be organising a counter protest against the anti-abortionist at the BPAS and leafleting local residents. How dare they try and stop women from accessing advice about contraception and abortion. A woman’s right to control her fertility is just as much part of the struggle against womens’ oppression as equal pay and justice for women who have been raped. QUESTION TO F WORD: Can someone tell me if a protest is being organised, this should be done immediately. We should not let these anti-choice scumbags stand outside this clinic unchallenged. Women going into the clinic would feel far better if they see a group of people who support their right to choose.

Helen G // Posted 18 January 2012 at 8:39 am

QUESTION TO F WORD: Can someone tell me if a protest is being organised […]

I’m not aware of any counter-protests, but if any readers are, please do feel free to leave a comment here with the details.

JessLeeds // Posted 18 January 2012 at 2:05 pm

I don’t know about thisspecific protest, but Abortion Rights have just emailed me, apparently there is an anti-Dorries protest on Friday 20 January…

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