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