Lifestyle & Belief

Anti-abortion protesters film women as they leave and enter a London abortion clinic


A woman who is four months pregnant lies on a bed as an ultrasound machine captures images of her baby at the Birthing Center of South Florida October 12, 2006 in Florida City.


Joe Raedle

A United States anti-abortion group has traveled to London to protest outside of Britain's largest abortion provider. The clinic, a branch of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, is facing a "new era" of protesters, the Guardian reported Tuesday

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A spokesman from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service told the Associated Press that the anti-abortion activists have been filming women who leave and enter the clinic.

"A culture seems to be being fostered where protesters (when they are not filming) think it is entirely acceptable to harangue women outside centers," a BPAS spokesman told the Guardian.

Activists from the 40 Days for Life campaign, meanwhile, downplayed the issue. They told the Guardian in a statement that "at times, members of the vigil have filmed themselves in order to protect themselves from these threats."  

The 40 Days for Life movement began in Texas in 2004, the AP said. The group got its name from its practice of holding vigils outside of abortion clinics for a 40-day-period. 

The AP noted that, like the US, some British lawmakers have become more vocal about banning abortion in recent years. Last year lawmaker Nadine Dorris tried to bar abortion providers from providing counseling to women who wanted the procedure. Her proposed law would have mandated that the counseling instead would have to occur with an independent body. 

"I still cannot understand why anyone would object to a woman receiving the offer of pre-abortion counselling?," Dorris wrote in a September Daily Mail column.

And a lone Anonymous hacker recently admitted to stealing 10,000 database records from the BPAS because he was unhappy with the "decisions of two women he knew over their pregnancy terminations," the Guardian reported Saturday