BRIGHTON, UK, December 8, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The British Pregnancy Advisory (BPAS) has accused a lively pro-life group in Brighton of being “immoral” for their use of graphic images in demonstrations outside an abortion facility.
But the head of the pro-life group, Abort 67, told LifeSiteNews.com that it is the use of disturbing graphic images of aborted children that has finally started to thaw the 40-plus years of perpetual winter of the public debate on abortion in the UK. Andrew Stephenson said that the graphic images have been the key to opening the debate in the UK that has been tightly locked down in the media since abortion was made legal in 1967.
“This is the first time there has even been a debate,” he said. The use of the graphic images, he said, has forced the British public for the first time to confront the grisly reality of abortion.
BPAS runs the Wiston Clinic in Brighton where Abort 67 demonstrates twice a week, using posters of enlarged photographs of aborted children to initiate discussions with passersby and especially with women considering abortion. Their efforts have resulted in a barrage of complaints from the abortion facility and BPAS and even arrests last year.
Clare Murphy, the head of public policy for BPAS told the BBC today, “I absolutely support their right to freedom of speech.” But Murphy said that the use of the graphic images combined with the comparison to the Holocaust and other genocides is “clearly aimed at distressing individual women” and is immoral.
Stephenson, a father of small children and the founder of Abort 67, called Murphy’s claim hypocritical and countered that the images are merely an accurate depiction of the results of abortion and that women intending to abort have a right to know.
“It’s bizarre that Clare Murphy, who makes a living from an organisation that tortures babies to death would say it’s immoral for us to show the work they’re doing.”
The charge of immorality, he said, “exposes that the BPAS are panicking.”
“They’ve lost the monopoly on who’s providing the information, on who’s steering the discussion.” With the images, Stephenson said, “We’ve taken control of the public discussion.”
It is ironic, he suggested, that BPAS has initiated the increased interest from the media and are now being forced for the first time to defend in public what they do.
“Every time we’ve forced them into a place where they have opened their mouths, they can’t help but expose how corrupt they are and now indefensible abortion is.”
BPAS, he said, is desperate to “change the subject to us being ‘intimidating,’ us being ‘offensive’. Anything to draw the discussion away from the real subject which is that they make their living torturing babies to death.”
BPAS attempted to shut down Abort67’s work by cutting the group off from the churches supporting them. The organization, which commits the majority of the nation’s abortions in their freestanding facilities, sent a letter to Stephenson’s church asking that support for the group be dropped.
But the move backfired, Stephenson said, with the attempt showing church members the lengths BPAS and other abortion groups will go to attempt to shut down the discussion.
“We’re getting emails from other churches, pro-life groups and individuals,” he said, all offering support. And their numbers are growing with more people coming out to help hand out literature and talk to women entering the Wiston facility. “So BPAS have tried this undermining way to shame us, and the result is that they’ve given us more publicity.”
Even so, the numbers are small. At today’s demonstration only ten turned out. The amount of media attention that only ten people with graphic images have drawn indicates what an enormous impact his group could have with greater resources, Stephenson said.
“Today we had ten people, a small number making such a large splash. Our resources and budget are miniscule but the effect are huge.”