Protests outside Stratford abortion clinic

Religious groups and residents protested outside a newly-opened British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) sexual health and abortion clinic in Stratford a campaign the charity behind the clinic called “disappointing”.

The groups were brought together by pro-life groups 40 Days for Life and the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children to protest outside the clinic on Romford Road, distributing thousands of pro-life magazines and campaign flyers in the area.

The protest was opened by Alan Craig, ex-Newham councillor and former leader of Newham Christian People’s Alliance, who said: “BPAS has become a large money-spinning business and this new centre is pure commercial opportunism to take advantage of Westfield Stratford City and the Olympics. BPAS have a vested interest in doing as many abortions as possible.”

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.

The BPAS Centre opened to provide a free walk-in service where women can get emergency hormonal contraception for immediate use or to keep at home and to provide safe termination services.

Support to women

BPAS spokesperson Clare Murphy said: “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.”

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And 15 residents who live in the same block or above the clinic petitioned One Housing, saying that granting the lease contradicts their reputation for social responsibilty.