Mothers consider action against anti-abortion protests (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Mothers consider action against anti-abortion protests in Buckhurst Hill
A group of mothers are considering challenging anti-abortion campaigners after losing patience with repeated protests outside a clinic.
A 45-strong group held a demonstration outside the Marie Stopes clinic in Russell Road, Buckhurst Hill, on Saturday morning.
Protests have taken place sporadically outside the clinic as far back as 2004, with violent clashes between rival demonstrators in 2012.
Members of the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants (HGPI) were accompanied by police from their meeting place at St Thomas of Canterbury church in High Road, Woodford Green, to the clinic.
Miriam Hill, 31, of Russell Road, is a member of the group Loughton Mums and said: “A few of us are considering protesting the protest.
“It’s harassment. Women have the right to choose without feeling guilty.
“They protest with horrible pictures and physically stop women from getting past, which I think is crossing the line.”
A spokesman for HGPI said: “We hope to offer another choice to women.
“We want to let women know that there is someone there to help and support them both financially and emotionally.
“Most women who attend the clinics are desperate — it’s not what they want to do but they feel they have no choice.”
“All our protests are non-violent event where we encounter people who want to confront us.”
Mrs Hill, who said she would like to see the age at which terminations can be performed reduced from the current 21weeks, added: “There are many reasons women might want an abortion and the protesters can upset them even more.
“They should not feel so good about themselves. They do nothing but stand there and judge.”
HGPI says abortion is morally wrong based on the teachings of the Catholic faith.