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Graphic imagery outside abortion clinics - right or wrong?

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Issued on behalf of Christian Concern
PRESS NOTICE
27 September 2013
For Immediate Release

EVENT DETAILS:
18:30 THU 03 OCT
Emmanuel Centre, Westminster, London SW1P 3DW

Graphic imagery outside abortion clinics - right or wrong?

The use of graphic abortion imagery outside UK abortion clinics will be debated next week by two of the most prominent opponents in the argument.

Ann Furedi, CEO of the UK's largest private abortion provider, BPAS, is strongly opposed to the display of such images in the immediate vicinity of clinics. Ms Furedi has also recently entered the debate over 'sex-selection abortion', saying: “…there is no legal requirement to deny a woman an abortion if she has a sex preference, providing that the legal grounds are still met.”

Gregg Cunningham is a US-based pro-life and freedom of speech campaigner and Executive Director of the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR). He is a vocal proponent of the use of graphic abortion imagery in 'public education projects', including those situated outside abortion clinics. Through the CBR he has provided imagery of aborted babies for use in such projects across the world and has won legal battles in the US to safeguard the practice. He has previously compared abortion to the holocaust and the fight against it to Wilberforce's anti-slavery movement.

Over the past two years, such images have been regularly displayed outside a BPAS clinic in Brighton by CBR-UK / Abort 67, a group allied to the Center Bio-Ethical Reform.

In 2012, two leaders of the group, Andy Stephenson and Kathryn Attwood, were arrested and charged under Section 5(b) of the Public Order Act, for displaying graphic abortion images outside the clinic.

However, in September 2012, the pair were acquitted in Brighton Magistrate's Court. District Judge Nicholson explicitly rejected police and Crown Prosecutors’ arguments that Mr. Stephenson should have displayed pictures which were less graphic, or pictures which were smaller, or that his pictures should have been made available only upon request. He also ruled that the police acted improperly when they confiscated abortion photo signs without authority to do so.

Brendan O'Neill, editor of Spiked Online, will chair the debate.

The motion to be debated is: “This House believes that it is morally wrong for groups to approach women and display abortion imagery outside facilities which provide abortion services.”

The event will take place at a venue in Central London (Westminster) and is open to the public, upon registration.

ENDS.

For interview / further information:
Andrea Minichiello Williams - 07712 591 164

Notes for Editors:

Extract from previous debate on Radio 4 Today programme available here

Acquittal of Andy Stephenson and Kathryn Attwood - http://www.christianconcern.com/our-concerns/religious-freedom/victory-for-pro-lifers-in-key-freedom-of-expression-case

British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) - www.bpas.org

Center for Bio-Ethical Reform - www.abortionno.org

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