Abortion giant threatens pro-life group with legal action
Abortion provider Marie Stopes International (MSI) has threatened to take legal action against a pro-life pregnancy centre for distributing a leaflet on the adverse effects of abortion on mental health.
MSI served a legal notice to the Good Counsel Network outlining its intention to obtain an injunction to stop the pregnancy centre from distributing the leaflet outside its central London clinic, as well as threatening to make a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority.
In a letter to the Good Counsel, lawyers representing MSI said:
“If you do not stop distributing the leaflet within 10 working days of the date of this letter MSI is considering making a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority and the courts on the basis that the information published in the leaflet regarding the physical and psychological implications of abortion is misleading or false”.
But Neil Addison, director of the Thomas Law Centre which represents the Good Counsel, has accused MSI of “intimidation”, stating:
“While Good Counsel is prepared if necessary to defend before the ASA or a court everything said in their leaflets the fundamental point is that the ASA does not have jurisdiction over leaflets distributed as part of a protest, which is MSI’s description of the vigil Good Counsel hold outside the MSI clinic”, said Mr Addison.
“To give a comparison, if the Trades Union Congress was to organise a protest against Government cuts and distributed leaflets about their effect, is anybody seriously suggesting that the Government could report the TUC to the ASA because the Government disagreed with the TUC’s analysis as to the consequences of the cuts?
“The idea is, of course, preposterous but so is MSI’s suggestion that Good Counsel could be reported to the ASA with regard to its leaflets.
“Frankly, the ASA has neither the jurisdiction nor the professional competence to decide whether Good Counsel or MSI are right concerning the effects of abortion”.
Mr Addison added: “Good Counsel and its members have a right to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights”.
MSI has previously threatened to seek a court order to stop Good Counsel from displaying “baby pink and blue” rosary beads to remember the lives lost as a result of women terminating their pregnancies at the clinic.
Andrea Williams, CEO of the Christian Legal Centre, said:
“Giants of the abortion industry like Marie Stopes can use their financial muscle to intimidate but they cannot suppress the truth.
“The Good Counsel Network is perfectly within its rights to distribute this leaflet outside the clinic. This attempt to bully them is simply a reflection of the hard-nosed nature of the abortion industry.
“Women should not be deprived of information which is so pertinent for their mental well-being”.