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Rival campaigners demonstrate outside Ealing abortion clinic

Right-to-choose campaigners gathered to show solidarity with women using the clinic, who they say have been "harassed" by pro-life protesters

Pro-life and right-to-choose campaigners faced off outside an abortion clinic in Ealing .

Protesters from both sides gathered outside Maries Stopes abortion clinic, in Mattock Lane, yesterday (Saturday, October 24) to make their rival cases.

The right-to-choose demonstration was organised in riposte to a string of pro-life protests at the venue.

Organiser Anna Veglio-White said they wanted to show their support for women "making a difficult decision".

She claimed those women should not have to put up with "harassment" and "intimidation" from pro-life protesters motivated by religious views.

She said 20-30 people had gathered in solidarity with women using the clinic, with a similar number there to protest against terminations.

"Our presence has encouraged the pro-life campaigners to rally their troops, and there are about the same number of them here," she told getwestlondon.

"Thankfully it's been very peaceful because we don't want to make things any more stressful for the women using the clinic.

"Passersby have been hooting their horns and stopping to thank us for being here. We've had pretty much 100% public support, which makes us very happy.

"We hope the women using the clinic realise we're here to support them and not to vilify them for making a very difficult decision.

"We've been respectful and kept our distance, but the pro-life group have been harassing and intimidating the women as usual, leaning over them and trying to thrust leaflets into their hands."

Pro-life campaigner Wendy Walker, who last protested outside the clinic more than two years ago, has insisted recent demonstrations by those sharing her views have been peaceful. She says protesters have the right to stand outside.

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