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Controversial Anti-Abortion Group Come To University Park Campus

WARNING: this article includes graphic images.

Anti-abortion group Abort67 has visited Nottingham’s University Park Campus to spark debate among students about pro-life beliefs.

The group is notorious for the controversial exhibition of graphic pictures and the SU issued a statement yesterday to state their concern at their tactics.

The protest took place near the South Entrance of University Park Campus earlier this morning, although protesters have now left due to the rain.

The Students’ Union released a statement prior to Abort67’s campaign saying they feared “Abort67’s intimidation and graphic propaganda” could “result in students feeling harassed and victimised”.

The protest today however was largely peaceful, and group director Kathryn Attwood explained the reason behind their shocking images:

“We are following the steps of Thomas Clarkson, the slave trade abolitionist, around the country. He toured around with graphic images regarding slavery to show the public what slavery did to slaves. We’re following his steps to show students and engage with students in debate about what abortion does to preborn children.”

Pauline Peachey, from Post Abortion Support for Everyone (PASE), also attended the visit. She commented “the pictures are powerful because they can bring to their mind something which people want to forget. The pictures aren’t saying anything other than that we have a great sympathy as an organisation for women, for the dilemmas they may find themselves in, and for the choices made under pressure which you may regret”.

The SU’s Women’s Network organised a counter protest and took their own signs along to cover up Abort67’s posters.

Women’s Officer Rose Bonner said: “We’re here because, as the Women’s Network, we’re pro-choice. We’re doing a Cover Up Campaign”.

“The Police said they won’t remove Abort67 unless they receive a high number of complaints.”

The Women’s Network has set up a petition to pressure the University to remove the campaigners. “We’re aiming to have over 200 signatures in the next few hours.”

Other methods used by Abort67 have included holding their images outside abortion clinics. Attwood commented that, “the people who are going in to have those abortions will walk past and say I wasn’t told it was like this”.

Peachey warned that “When people go in for an abortion they don’t have the full information, sometimes they have very misleading information”. This has direct implications for the woman’s future mental health.

Impact also questioned Attwood in regard to the group’s view on conception through rape or incest.

Attwood mentioned accounts of women who saw continuing the pregnancy a way of “overcoming the rape because it brought life out of a deathly situation”.

She further noted that incest does not justify abortion. “You would never kill people when they’re born with a disability or illness from that circumstance so why would you justify killing them in the womb”.

Peachey also said “I would go to enormous lengths to prevent anybody, whether I liked them or not, from going through such a violation of themselves. My passion is for the women. I do feel for the babies, but once they’re dead, they’re dead. The woman continues to live and has to deal with what she’s been through.”

Attwood say that the group “try to follow up [with the women] as much as possible”.

Antonia Paget

Additional reporting by Suzi Collins, Izzy Scrimshire, Ellis Schindler and Emily Tripp

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15 Comments on this post.
  • Kamiah
    6 November 2012 at 15:36
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    The entire thing irritates me, how women can’t empathise with other women in regards to their reasons behind abortion, but what especially grates on me is there’s men there. Who on earth do they think they are trying to tell women what to do with their womb?

  • Alex
    6 November 2012 at 16:39
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    “what especially grates on me is there’s men there. Who on earth do they think they are trying to tell women what to do with their womb?”

    Just because someone is a man does not mean they cannot have opinions on the value of life – they are not attepting to “tell women what to do”, but rather attempting to persuade.

    They have a right to protest but I think their arguments are bloody awful – the part about not aborting after rape because “it brought about life out of a deathly situation” is the most hysterically absurd pseudo-logic I’ve heard in a long time.

    1. Rape is a deathly (whatever that may mean) event.

    2. Life is the opposite of that.

    3. You should keep the baby because it brings yin to yang! Or is it the other way around?

    To equate this with the abolition of slavery is also laughable.

  • Martin
    6 November 2012 at 16:45
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    I completely agree with Kamiah – men should stay well back in this debate! I’m very glad they were rained off!

  • BenJames
    6 November 2012 at 19:27
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    Yeah, ban men from this issue, what do they have to do with raising or conceiving a child? Her womb is a woman’s property & if a man should carelessly leave his sperm there then as Kamiah rightly points out he has no responsibility over it.

    You know what, as a man, I’ve continually observed our heavy-handed & ill conceived (excuse the pun) approach to not only abortion but children in general. I say not only should we have no say in abortion, but in the raising of children whatsoever. I mean what’s more pro-choice then leaving every single decision up to women?

  • Kamiah
    6 November 2012 at 19:54
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    If using scare tactics and gruesome photographs, I think everyone involved in this is in the wrong. It’s a life altering decision not to be taken lightly by anyone. And yes, we can only hope that anyone in the position whereby they are considering an abortion is in a situation where the father is around and they can discuss options and think things over together. Of COURSE men can have an opinion. But say a young, single girl walked past this protest, considering an abortion for all the right reasons for her, how is it fair that a complete stranger of a man make her feel like a murderer? Someone that will absolutely never be able to be in the same position and will never have to bare the guilt or physical pain surrounding the procedure? I see a huge difference between having an opinion and holding up huge photos of dead fetuses. And like I said before, I just can’t comprehend how other women can’t empathise with a girl going through that because it’s a plausible reality for them.

    I suppose I worded my frustration surrounding the protest wrongly in the moment. Abortion isn’t murder and I see protests like these as hugely insensitive acts of victimisation, particularly at universities where they know they’re prying into the lives of so many young women, gender aside.

  • Nathan
    6 November 2012 at 20:55
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    Men should be present in this debate. The issue of when life begins etc is one of importance to everyone and something men can useful contribute to.
    Obviously though, I’m not and never would support a movement against abortion, particularly one with a history like Abort67, which advocates lying to women about abortion in order to scare them.

  • Me
    6 November 2012 at 21:07
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    Sick of feminists. Always trying to tell other people what to think.

  • Ron Simmons
    6 November 2012 at 21:22
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  • Dave J
    7 November 2012 at 10:23
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    Kamiah, a man has just as much right to tell you what to do with your womb as any woman does. That is – no right whatsoever.

    Telling people that they aren’t allowed to express a view because of their gender is a crap way of making an argument, though.

  • P.K
    7 November 2012 at 11:46
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    First and foremost “Me” Abort67 are NOT feminists, they are SO far from feminist it’s ridiculous. They are a radical Christian group, born in Canada, spread to USA and finally made their way over here based in Worthing where they protest outside Brighton Clinics.

    Their tactics are ineffective, they only increase the time that a woman seeks an abortion, they’ve not brought the rate down at all. They use sickening and disgusting tactics, not only is it the pictures they use it’s the tiny plastic foetus’ they thrust into the palms of women entering the clinic.

    Abortion has always happened/remained a constant regardless of it’s legal state, and will continue to do so. Banning abortion only increases the number of maternal deaths.

    This group is dangerous, they will take any one to court if you so much as touch them. So watch yourselves when confronting them, but they MUST be confronted. What they’re doing is unacceptable.

  • Lynn
    7 November 2012 at 13:40
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    P.K., I believe “me” was referring to the Women’s Network telling people what to think, not Abort67

  • Chloe
    7 November 2012 at 20:16
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    Lynn- even if that was Me’s point, PK is still right. Their awful shock tactics are just as self-righteous (implying that women don’t ‘understand’ the choice they are making) as much as the counter-protesters supposedly were. Both can be seen to be were ‘telling people what to do’, unless you actually listen to the Women’s Network’s campaign- by covering up the images, they wanted to allow people to make their own choices without such sickening, blatant propaganda. Also, want to give Me some real brownie points for such original use of the word ‘feminist’ – never seen that as an insult before… Why he/she is so threatened by equality between the sexes, I can’t imagine.

  • Kat Dixon
    8 November 2012 at 14:34
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    Well said Ben James and Nathan. Feminism is about equality, so trying to exclude men from protesting and debate is very narrow minded. Telling people that they can’t voice their opinions because of their gender makes half the population second-rate citizens. Sounds familiar, no?

  • Jonathan
    14 November 2012 at 12:03
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    It’s outrageous that someone might try to influence others’ behaviour using shock tactics and graphic images. Can we have a “cover-up campaign” for the offensive and insulting “health warnings” on cigarette packets in the Union shop?

  • Dave J
    14 November 2012 at 15:26
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    I’m going to hazard a guess at ‘no’, there Jonathan.

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