By News Reporters
Anti-abortion protests will be met with pro-choice counter protests outside clinics in Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia this week at the start of a campaign by the American group 40 Days for Life who proclaim it will be part of “the largest and longest internationally coordinated pro-life mobilization in history”.
In March a protest by 40 Days for Life came to prominence when the police were called in after members of the group filmed women entering and leaving a clinic in Bedford Square in central London. A counter-protest was organised and hundreds of people turned up out-numbering the 40 Days for Life group in the Georgian Square off Tottenham Court Road.
On Tuesday 25 September 40 Days for Life will start an all-night vigil outside the British Pregnancy Advisory Service in Bedford Square and also outside the Marie Stopes Clinic in Whitfield Street to mark the start of the campaign which will run until 4 November. Both demonstrations will be met by a counter demonstration by pro-choice activists.
The Bloomsbury Pro-Choice Alliance is leading a counter demonstration outside both the Bedford Square and Whitfield Street clinic. The events are likely to attract hundreds of protesters and the attention of the media.
Another pro-life group, The Good Counsel Network, has also been holding a small demonstration most days outside the Marie Stopes Clinic in Whitfield Street. Over the last six months their presence has been more regular with three or four people outside the clinic on most days of the week during the daytime. The Catholic Herald reports that Marie Stopes International has warned that it would take legal action against the demonstration outside the clinic in Whitfield Street.
Most people that Fitzrovia News spoke to agree with the right of the pro-life groups to protest but strongly disagree with the tactic of standing outside the abortion clinics. The campaign group Abortion Rights have launched an initiative to raise awareness of abortion access and the growth of protests outside clinics by anti-choice groups.