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BPAS comment on the decision to convict anti-abortion campaigner of harassment in Northern Ireland

 

Bpas comment on the decision to convict anti-abortion campaigner of harassment in Northern Ireland

 

“Bpas welcomes the conviction of Bernadette Smyth, head of anti-abortion group Precious Life, for the harassment of Dawn Purvis, Director of the Marie Stopes abortion clinic in Belfast. In the face of growing public support for women’s access to abortion, campaigners have resorted to increasingly aggressive tactics in an attempt to shut down this centre and prevent women in Northern Ireland accessing abortion care. We congratulate Dawn Purvis for taking such a brave stand.

 

“While we fully support the right to protest, this must be balanced against the rights of women to access legal healthcare in confidence, and the rights of staff to provide these services free from fear and intimidation.

 

“We are concerned about the escalation of anti-abortion campaigns across the UK. This ruling should serve as a warning to anti-abortion groups that there is a line between protest and harassment, and we hope they will reflect on both the legality and morality of their actions as a result.”

 

ENDS

 

For more information please contact bpas at press@bpas.org and 07788 725185 or the RCM on 020 7312 3456.

 

About bpas

 

bpas is a charity which provides reproductive healthcare services including pregnancy counselling, abortion care, miscarriage management  and contraception from more than 40 centres across the UK. It supports and advocates for reproductive choice. More information can be found at bpas.org