On 5 October 2016, Channel 4 published a deeply misleading and biased supposedly undercover investigation into “Britain’s Abortion Extremists.” The programme contained a variety of factual errors and looked like a propaganda piece for BPAS’s Buffer Zone “Back Off” Campaign to introduce buffer zones outside of abortion centres.
As the programme was filmed in an undercover manner designed to paint pro-lifers in the most negative light, there was not the opportunity to communicate a pro-life message during the programme. The executive producers wrote a rather aggressive letter prior to publication which SPUC have published here. Had there been the opportunity to talk seriously about harassment outside abortion centres the programme might have been entirely different.
Real Stories of Harassment outside abortion centres
Many abortion proponents mistakenly believe that women are harassed by pro-life advocates who organise a peaceful presence close to abortion centres offering help and support. In over 6 years I have never witnessed or heard a story of a woman who was harassed in such a way.
I have personally witnessed women who have received botched abortions, or who could hardly walk following an abortion procedure, and the abortion provider has left them to walk out onto the street unaided and sick. Many of these women will not have received informed consent telling them about the risks in the first place, but will have been led down a path leading them to damage their own health by not being fully informed of the risks. Should it be considered harassment to not tell somebody of the dangers of an operation, and then to leave the person to their own devices to fend for themselves after a major operation? Some would consider that only only harassment, but deceit and abuse
I have witnessed women who have been forced into abortions by boyfriends (on one occasion literally forcing them into the clinic) or more subtly by the overbearing mother who ensures her daughter receives the abortion no matter what against the child’s will. A recent article in the Independent highlighted how prostitutes can be forced into abortion. The article describes how someone had an abortion arranged by her criminal gang. Should forced abortions be considered harassment?
Marie Stopes have in the past accused their staff of sexually assaulting their own patients, and some of their staff according to the Daily Mail promised to revolutionise the sex life of their patients after botched surgery.
It has been known for ambulances will arrive at an abortion centre to pick up a dead or wounded woman who has had a complication with her abortion. In 2013, 4 Ambulances arrived in Marie Stopes Ealing in a 6 week time period. Was the woman who bled to death after her bungled abortion experience harassed?
The only other women I have witnessed who have been harassed are pro-life women themselves, who have been subject to abuse which you can read about here.
Harassment of abortion staff
Dispatches were happy to show the Marie Stopes Abortion centre in Fallowfield. What they failed to discover was a fascinating story about how one of the abortion staff had been harassed there.
One Marie Stopes employee from the very centre refused to comply with their anti-patient protocols and threatened to expose their behaviour. He received racist comments at work along with bullying, before being given false charges of sexual assault leading to a high profile crown court trial in March 2009 with the attendant media frenzy.
The shocking racism and bullying through the hands of Sue Smooker and Julie Ackroyd along with the senior managers at the London office left the employee with long term psychiatric damage. Employees of Marie Stopes are alleged to have falsely accused one of their staff of sexual harassment. Marie Stopes employees supposedly were happy to lie in court about events while a former employee was bullied and racially abused at work. The perpetrators of racism and bullying got promoted in the organisation.
The worker described working in Marie Stopes in Fallowfield in the following way. The abortion industry is a money driven business. Once you have a license it is just money all the way. You don’t pay taxes because you are a charity, you employ vulnerable doctors and nurses at cheap rates and exploit vulnerable girls from Ireland, Scotland and England. The managers make huge bonuses, go on expensive skiing holidays, buy designer clothes and shoes and watch porn during working hours and organise sex theme parties. Medical decisions are taken by non-medical managers. Employees are forced to counter sign consent forms without having seen the patient and often in advance. Employees have been forced to anaesthetise against the protocols of the Royal College and they told their employees that the GMC and Royal Colleges were in their pockets. The employee is supposed to have signed a deal of confidentiality with his employer so this story never made the papers.
The recent decision by the Care Quality Commission to protect patients from Marie Stopes does not even begin to touch some of the concerns I have with this organisation. Marie Stopes (the person) wrote love letters to Adolf Hitler saying, “Dear Herr Hitler, Love is the greatest thing in the world: so will you accept from me these (poems) that you may allow the young people of your nation to have them?” You can read 7 things you did not know about Marie Stopes here and more about the organization here. The British taxpayer pays millions of pounds every year to Marie Stopes International, who in turn break abortion laws in countries all around the world.
In the programme, Cathy Newman travels to BPAS Twickenham to harass a pavement counsellor who is having a coffee break. It is ironic that in her investigation, she failed to find any evidence of harassment, and in fact her aggressive questioning of the counsellor she becomes guilty of the very thing that she is trying to investigate. The real story is that their undercover investigator was about as subtle as an elephant in the Sahara and after failing to uncover anything – Cathy had to intervene and be aggressive and confront an innocent person to ensure they had enough content for the show.
BPAS Twickenham is a late term abortion centre where there are 7400 abortions a year and around 320 abortions after 20 weeks gestation. In 2015, a newspaper article reported how the abortion centre potentially put women at risk, after a Care Quality Commission report found that hospital staff at not involved soon enough after serious incidents. In 2012, a teenage mother of one who underwent an abortion at the centre died after contracting a superbug during the procedure.
The building is a former convent owned by nuns. In July 1971, a French lady called Madame Boutte died in the building after an attempted abortion at 5 months gestation. She died at the plush Richmond clinic, suffering from a haemorrhage which could not be counteracted due to the unavailability of replacement blood. There was an inquest on the poor lady, together with the tiny child – a little girl with no signs of abnormality. The verdict of misadventure was given, with the recommendation that in future such operations were only performed during the daytime. Emergencies were harder to deal with outside working hours. The licence was retained.
The pro-life vigil outside Twickenham has helped to save around 300 babies from abortion, often at the last minute over the last few years. Here are some pictures of the babies who have been saved from abortion at the very last minute thanks to the witness and prayers of Christians outside that centre. Please see this video to hear stories of women who have been helped by pro-life vigils outside of abortion centres.
An undercover journalist spent 3 months with Abort67 in an attempt to demonstrate how they harassed patients. But the undercover journalist acknowledged that they never harassed patients (which wasn’t shown). The journalist was also known by Abort67 so in no way could the journalist be described as undercover.
Ultimately, Dispatches failed to show the abortion procedure by Abort67 – which is the whole point of their existence. In stating that abortion is too horrible to show on television – dispatches in a way acknowledge how ugly and terrible the procedure is.
Abortion and Genocide
Dispatches were quick to discover that pro life groups described abortion as genocide. This point was not elaborated on. Abortion is the leading cause of death in the world. There are an estimated 56 million abortions a year in the world. Soon in this country there will have been 9 million abortions after 50 years of partially decriminalised abortion. Some experts estimate 100 million girls are missing due to gendercide. More human persons have died from abortion than all the wars in human history combined. Since 1966 2 billion babies have been killed by abortion worldwide. 2 million embryonic babies have been killed by IVF in the UK since 1990. The number of human embryos destroyed in the past 50 years by abortifacient birth control drugs and devices is simply incalculable.
Joseph Meaney’s statement in the film described how Communist Russia was the first country to legalise abortion, while Nazi Germany was the second country in the world to legalise abortion. All the videos from the conference can be seen here and his talk can be read here.
Abortion and Breast Cancer
Many pro-life groups recognise that there is not a proven link between abortion and breast cancer. A meta-analysis of 36 studies on abortion in 2014 by Hyang concluded that induced abortion is significantly associated with an increased risk of breast cancer – by as much as 44% after one induced abortion and even more as the number of abortions increases. This is consistent with the first systematic review of the link by Brind et al. in 1996. Further research is needed to settle this issue but in the meantime women have a right to know that there is an ongoing debate about it. Scientists agree that the later a woman delays a first full term pregnancy, the greater her breast cancer risk is. Dr Kate Guthrie said, Right now there is no evidence that links abortions with an increase in breast cancer under any circumstances.‘ This is pretty naïve at best. Kate’s biography in 2011 said that she is a medical consultant with Marie Stopes International and a member of pro-choice charities so she is clearly not unbiased and has vested interest in the abortion industry.
Abortion and mental health
A growing body of evidence suggests that women may be at an increased risk of mental health disorders (notably major depression, substance misuse and suicidality) following abortion, even with no previous history of problems. Researchers not associated with vested interest groups have published this growing scientific evidence. They include Fergusson in New Zealand and Pederson in Norway. The most comprehensive review into the mental health outcomes of induced abortion, carried out in the UK in 2011 (Academy of Royal Colleges), found that having an unwanted pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of mental health problems. Studies may show an association or link, but we cannot be certain that exposure definitely causes the health effect. Government statistics report complications for 278 abortions out of 185,000 in England and Wales in 2012. Complications include haemorrhage, damage to the cervix, uterine perforation and sepsis. This number includes those reported up to the time of discharge from the place of termination.
Dispatches failed to report about the vested financial interests of abortion provision. Abortion providers in the United Kingdom will usually receive a 3 or 4 figure sum for an abortion, after providing “impartial” advice on whether to have one or not. If a woman has an abortion, the abortion provider will receive a 3 or 4 figure sum, if she does not, they will have a small fee for the consultation.
98% of abortions are done on dubious grounds of mental health in the UK. 98% of abortions are done specifically on grounds of protecting woman’s mental health. But the AMRC report in 2011 on abortion and mental health concluded that abortion poses no greater risk to mental health than childbirth for those with unwanted pregnancies. That means that some doctors believe that 98% of abortions in Britain are now illegal and doctors who authorize or perform them are committing a criminal offence. Over 1,000 times every day, British doctors sign legal documents on mental health grounds when in fact there are no mental health grounds for abortion. Making false statements on an abortion authorisation form is a form of perjury. Abortion is a crime in the United Kingdom outside of the bounds of the 1967 Act.
It was sad that the programme was so chronically biased they could not present some real stories of harassment at abortion centres which we would have happily provided them with if they asked. But the show really looked liked a propaganda piece for BPAS’s campaign to introduce buffer zones which was the real agenda.