Monday, 16 April 2012

Worthing Protest - Defend Women's Right to Choose!

Abort67 is an anti-choice group that draws its name from its opposition to the 1967 Abortion Act. They claim to be 'providing information' to women outside family planning clinics where abortions take place. In fact they film service users and workers walking in, thrust plastic foetuses into their hands and display graphic images of abortion procedures.

As if these intimidating tactics aren’t bad enough, the 'information' they distribute is packed with misinformation intended to undermine womens’ ability to make an informed choice based on impartial, clinical evidence, delivered sensitively in a calm and private environment.

According to Abort67 the ‘act of violence’ of a rape victim having an abortion is comparable to the violence of the rape itself. They also claim that abortion leads to breast cancer, mental illness and so on, none of which is true, and compare the right to choose with the holocaust.

On 15 April Brighton Pro-Choice protested outside Jubilee Church’s congregation, which they hold in Worthing High School. The church provides Abort67 with unequivocal support, even holding cake sales to raise money to support their pickets of Brighton abortion clinics.

We called on the Church to withdraw their support from Abort67, chanting 'Jubilee Church, Stop Harassing Women!' and 'Whose Choice? Our Choice!', and marched through Worthing Town Centre after the service ended. This action was well-attended by around 60 protestors.

Brighton Pro-Choice will meet soon to discuss what further actions to take in defence of women's right to choose when and whether to have children without harassment, intimidation or misinformation.

Socialist Party members helped lead the protest, pointing out that while all women are affected by these actions, it is a class issue in that globally it is working-class and poor women who suffer most from unsafe and illegal abortions and bigotry.

Defence of the right to choose and scientific comprehensive sex and relationships education must be a key priority for the trade union, anti-cuts and socialist movements. Likewise defence of the NHS and education system, decent affordable and available housing and secure employment must be a priority for the pro-choice movement.