ANTI-ABORTION protestors clashed with women’s rights campaigners outside a Marie Stopes clinic on Saturday (April 21).

Police had to intervene to separate around 17 ‘Feminist Fightback’ protestors from ‘The Helpers of God’s Precious Infants’ who had marched to the clinic in Russell Road, Buckhurst Hill.

Carrying rosary beads and a picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe, around 40 anti abortion campaigners walked from St Thomas of Canterbury church in Woodford Green High Road, before stopping for a 'vigil' outside the clinic.

There were scuffles in the street and Katie Cruz from Feminist Fightback said a man from the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants headbutted a Feminist Fightback campaigner.

She added: “They are not demonstrators they were there to harass women.

“It is important that people are able to voice their opinions but it is not appropriate that they should be allowed to do it outside a health clinic.”

Laura Schwartz, 31, of Feminist Fightback, said the group had escorted two women, who felt intimidated by the Helpers of God's Precious Infants, to the clinic.

And she added: "This was not a vigil.

"Anybody who is going to have an abortion knows that they have made a very serious decision and they don't need to be harassed.

"These people were handing out leaflets to women which were full of lies."

Harvey Singh, 45, lives a few doors down from the clinic.

He said: "Nothing surprises me anymore.

"We have seen fights in the street, women vomiting on the pavement and we regularly have people coming to the clinic blocking our drive.

"Having all this going on on your doorstep when you have young children is not very nice.

"Fair enough, Marie Stopes provide a service people need, but it is not right that they should have a clinic on a residential street."

No one from the Helpers of God's Precious Infants was available to comment.

On the group's website they describe themselves as 'a group of people committed to maintaining a loving and prayerful presence outside of the abortion clinics where God’s children are put to death.'

Leaflets on the website, which Feminist Fightback say were distributed on Saturday, warn women that abortion can lead to alcohol and drug abuse and damage to maternal instinct.

There are no reports of any arrests associated with Saturday's events.