SisterSupporter are a pro-choice campaign group set up by Anna Veglio-White in November 2015 to tackle the long standing issue of anti-abortion campaigners standing outside the Marie Stopes clinic on Mattock Lane, Ealing up to five days per week. We believe that anyone accessing the clinic (for contraception, advice, abortion or aftercare) has a right to do so without being stopped or scrutinised by anti-abortion campaigners outside.
We meet fortnightly to promote the national Buffer Zone petition and support the national BPAS campaign – Back Off – which aims to tackle the problem of harassment outside abortion clinics in the UK. We oppose large religious vigils when they occur on Mattock lane and are also in touch with the clinic itself to ensure good communication.
The law as it stands in the UK does not adequately protect women going to clinics. On a daily basis people in Ealing have to walk past pictures (and even models!) of foetuses. The campaigners hand out leaflets which cite false information about links between abortion and breast cancer and display religious imagery on the pavement. The police have advised us on numerous occasions that they cannot do anything unless those entering the clinic report the matter to the police. We think it is both unfair and unreasonable to expect women already going through a difficult day to have the additional stress of reporting harassment to the police. Many women do not want their presence at a clinic to be recorded, nor do they wish to discuss the matter in court at a later date. For this reason we (and BPAS) believe that harassment at clinics is under-reported and that a change in legislation is required to protect clinic users.
A recent study by Aston University clearly concluded that the presence of anti-abortion activists outside of clinics was a source of considerable distress to those who wished to access a safe and legal healthcare service in confidence.
We support a woman’s right to choose and furthermore we support her right to do this without harassment.
For this reason we are campaigning for legal exclusion zones outside clinics – which are already in place in some parts of Australia, Canada and the United States.
What can you do? Sign the petition!
Share the petition: http://www.sistersupporter.co.uk/campaign