An anti-abortion group that targeted pregnant Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy has been labelled “vile, unconscionable and despicable” by Commons speaker John Bercow as MPs vowed to help her take action.
Ms Creasy raised the issue after an organisation called the Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR) put a poster of her alongside a picture of what it claimed was “a 24-week-old aborted baby girl”, with the claim “Your MP is working hard … to make this a human right” and the address of a website established against the MP.
The abuse targeted at Ms Creasy follows the approval from MPs of her amendment to extend abortion rights to Northern Ireland – the only part of the UK where it is illegal. The vote passed by 332 to 99.
She has reported the matter to the Metropolitan Police – only to be rebuffed by officers who say this is a “free speech” issue.
A clearly-emotional Ms Creasy raised the issue with a point of order in the House of Commons, after Prime Minister’s Questions today (October 2).
I managed to capture most of the exchange with Speaker John Bercow on video (I happened to have a camera handy and grabbed it up as soon as I realised what was happening). Apologies for the shaky picture and possible poor sound quality – the camera was hand-held. You may hear voices over the top – they belong to This Writer and Mrs Mike:
The point of order prompted the appropriate Tory government minister to promise action.
Abortion is a sensitive and complicated issue, and I don’t propose to go over all the arguments here.
But I do believe that there are many possible reasons for a woman (or a couple) to consider abortion and if that option is available to them, it is not for anybody else to tell them what to do. It is a matter for their conscience and it should be a human right.
The action of the so-called charity (as you will have heard, it has been refused charity status in the UK) – against a woman who is herself pregnant – is as Mr Bercow described it: vile, unconscionable and despicable. I’m sure many readers could add a few choice words themselves.
It is the sort of behaviour that could affect the health of an unborn baby, contrary to that organisation’s stated aims. Do these people even care about that double-standard?
It has no place in UK society.
Our charities exist to campaign for measures that improve the quality of life – not to victimise people who have done nothing wrong (the fake charity Campaign Against Antisemitism should also take note of this).
The advertising company that hosted the offending posters has agreed to take them down.
Let us hope that the organisation behind it faces legal action (this behaviour is a criminal offence under the Public Order Act) and is chased out of the UK for good.
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I quite like Stella Creasy but this is an argument that both sides deserve to lose. The tactics of CBRUK are extremely questionable and it’s wrong to bring Stella Creasy’s pregnancy into it.
However SC is an advocate of a pro-choice position on abortion and has been prominent in the recent legislation regarding Northern Ireland. It’s perfectly legitimate for people who disagree with her to go to Walthamstow and urge her constituents not to vote for her. She seemed to be saying that free speech on abortion is only permissible on her terms. I’m very uncomfortable about this.
Bercow is vile, despicable and unconscionable. The fact that he’s on SC”s side here should give pause for thought
So you believe it is appropriate to go to somebody’s home – or as close as possible to it – and intimidate that person because they have increased freedom for a large section of the UK’s population?
That seems an odd point of view to me.
There is one point on which I will most profoundly disagree and that is the issue of human Rights. I agree that it is for nobody to decide but the persons concerned but I disagree that it should be a “human Right.” I have a problem with what I call our misguided concept of Rights and that is that when one person’s Rights come into conflict with those of another, whose Rights prevail? They cannot both be right, therefore, the Right cannot exist, it is a paradox. The ability, or necessity for abortion, termination, call it what you will can be argued from many points and these must be heard but one cannot call this a Right.
This is a contentious issue and both sides of the argument are passionate in their belief that they are upholding those for whom there is no voice. Those who are against abortion know that once the battle is lost, there can be no going back. Of course, it is influencing debate, that is the point, surely, that there are two sides to the coin and we must progress cautiously and sensitively. I agree with the Speaker in his description; people should not be threatened and there should be no suggestion of violence. There is no excuse for unlawful conduct and, again, sadly, we find people playing the Man and not the ball but this seems to be the way that much of our discourse is conducted, these days and it is a shame. I’m not sure how we arrived at this point.
We must ask ourselves, as a society, what is life and how does we value it, for the answer to these questions affects more than just the termination of pregnancies.
How is this a matter of ‘free speech’ when it is blatantly:
the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.
They didn’t go to her home, only to her constituency. Strong opposition to a persons’s views is not ipso facto intimidation.
I suppose that CBRUK would say that Stella Creasy has denied the right to live for a considerable potential section of the UK”s population.
Thank you for allowing me to comment
Stella Creasy M.P. and a member of the organisation in question, on Radio 4:
Anti abortionists don’t give a damn about what happens to a child or it’s mother after birth. They are not pro-life just pro birth. In a lot of cases it seems to be about controlling women and their bodies. They have the right to do what they like with their own bodies but should leave other people alone.
Not all of those who oppose abortion are the same. I don’t know this group.
Abortion is a very tricky subject especially if a mother’s life is in danger. However I find it somewhat difficult to take to hear Stella Creasy “in tears” because anti-abortionists came to her constituency. Primarily, because she will attack anyone and everyone who does not agree with her on any subject. She has been part of the A-S witch hunt, anti Corbyn, anti Chris Williamson – the venom she used against Chris was just awful. She gangs up on those who do not agree with her and has her “club” of friends who come to her aid. She briefed the press that people had been outside her constituency home complaining about her continued venom towards JC. I questioned her and she had to admit no one was outside her home but they were outside her Constituency Office. It was alleged these protesters were shouting, but in fact they were not. She is not a person/MP I would trust one inch. Sorry if this offends anyone.
While I appreciate what you’re saying, none of it excuses what these anti-abortionists were doing. We must not excuse shocking behaviour by anyone, just because we don’t like the victim.