Melissa York, Reporter
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
East London GPs gathered outside an abortion clinic in Stratford for the first time on Saturday to oppose a pro-life prayer group.
Drs Anna Livingstone, Jackie Applebee, and Kambiz Boomla, members of the British Medical Association who practice in Tower Hamlets surgeries, joined around 50 local residents outside the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) building on Romford Road to condemn what they believe is the harassment and intimidation of its staff and women seeking advice.
The Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child (SPUC) and 40 Days for Life have been holding prayer protests outside the centre since it opened a year ago but this is the first time a pro-choice opposition group have made a stand, chanting the slogan “Keep your rosaries off our ovaries”.
Practicing since 1978, Dr Livingstone, from Plaistow, said: “They were a peaceful anti-abortion group and I have seen so much worse in my time but we have to be present to stop them getting worse.
“It’s important for women in the local area who don’t feel that way to see the support there for them.
“In my time as a GP, I’ve seen women who felt that having local services that are supportive of women have really allowed them to make proper choices in a way they didn’t feel they could before.
“Having access to these services doesn’t increase the amount of abortions, it decreases the amount of illegal abortions.”
The pro-choice campaigners said they will be back to oppose future protests held outside the BPAS clinic.