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Protesters plan counter-campaign outside Ealing abortion clinic

According to Anna Veglio-White, the Marie Stopes clinic has been plagued by pro-life campaigners standing outside, stopping women entering

A group of protesters in Ealing will rally together to counter a string of pro-life campaigns outside an abortion clinic.

According to Anna Veglio-White, based in Ealing, scores of pro-life protesters have been seen outside the Marie Stopes Abortion clinic, in Mattock Lane, to deter women from having abortions.

The 23-year-old claims that some of the pro-life protesters, motivated by religious views, have been physically pushing women away from the entrance to the clinic.

Now, Miss Veglio-White has rallied together more than 40 people to stand outside the clinic on Saturday (October 24) to support women who may have made the decision to have an abortion.

The office manager said: "After a few Saturday mornings [since moving back home with her parents] it became apparent that the pro-life fanatics are still harassing the Marie Stopes clinic.

"It just makes me really angry, especially because most of them are men, and they are trying to stop the women going in and saying: 'Jesus loves the baby'.

"We want to support women and we want to support anyone that's going through that.

"I am arranging a peaceful counter-protest with more than 40 people to stand outside the centre to raise awareness to the issue."

Miss Veglio-White said protesters had also been printing off photos of fetuses, at different stages of birth, in a bid to get the women entering the clinic to turn the other way.

The textile graduate added that her long-term vision was to make the outside of the abortion clinic a "no-go zone", but said this could not happen in the immediate future because of legal complications.

But pro-life protester Wendy Walker, who last protested outside the clinic more than two years ago, claims recent demonstrations have been peaceful and the protesters have the right to stand outside.

The pro-life campaigner of 45 years said: "I am very unhappy with pro-life people being referred to as fanatics, surely it is people's right to know what an abortion entails and what happens to that baby?

"I disagree with this protest since the pro-life people are there peacefully and they [the counter campaigners] just want to cause more trouble."

A staff member from the Marie Stopes clinic said the pro-life protesters have been campaigning for a "long time," estimating that the first protest began more than two years ago.

Policy director for Marie Stopes UK, Genevieve Edwards, told getwestlondon : "Our priority will always be the safety and wellbeing of the women who depend on our services and, while we respect and support the right to free speech, we are adamant that protests should never be at the expense of a woman's right to legal health services.

"Sadly, a small minority of people believe otherwise and would like to see the country take a backwards step on the issue.

"For these people, there is ample opportunity to campaign and advocate in parliament without the need to harass women who are stressed and possibly distressed accessing a legal health service."

The protest, this Saturday, will begin at around 10am outside the clinic.

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