UK politician ‘seething with rage’ against pro-lifers, wants to ban them outside abortion centers
LONDON, England, November 8, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Rupa Huq, Labour MP for Ealing, made no secret of her dislike for pro-life volunteers in her constituency when she asked Parliament to consider public order legislation relating to abortion businesses yesterday.
In a speech that pro-abortion demonstrators and businesses helped her to write, Huq confessed that pro-life witnesses “have had (her) seething with rage since the early 90s.”
The MP claimed that the area around Marie Stopes Ealing clinic has “become simply impassable because of the pro-life protesters outside the gates of the clinic,” and yet she praised the “Sister Supporter” group for adding themselves “to the mix.”
“I am cheered to see those young women in their pink hi-vis tabards,” said Huq, “because at a time when we are told that young people are not interested in politics, they are a shining counter-example of what people can do if they get active.”
Sister Supporter standoff
Besides screaming at the pro-life witnesses and indulging in noisy songs and chants, Sister Supporter has disrupted religious processions from a nearby Catholic church. Even Huq admits that the police are dismayed at the “standoff” between the two opposed groups outside Marie Stopes Ealing. However, Huq justified the presence of Sister Supporter by blaming it on the pro-life side. “If the first part of the problem went away, they would, too,” she said.
Paula Sherriff, Labour MP for Dewsbury, congratulated Huq on her work and claimed that some of the pro-life witnesses outside the Ealing clinic “hand out plastic foetuses and rosary beads, and tell women who are about to go into the clinic that they will be haunted by their baby.” Huq was also supported by Diane Abbott, Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington.
Sherriff and Abbott repeatedly referred to anti-abortion witnesses as “anti-choice.”
In her lengthy presentation, Huq too made a number of unsubstantiated claims about pro-life witnesses outside the Marie Stopes clinic. Among her allegations were that pro-life counselors tell women seeking abortion that they will be haunted by their baby, hand out “faux-medical,” “lying” leaflets, and live-stream the coming and going of women to and from the clinic over Facebook. “The plastic foetus dolls … are wildly inaccurate,” Huq said. “The groups used graphic images designed to shock and teddy bears -- pink for a girl and blue for a boy.”
Huq also claimed that the Ealing “pro-life people” are “well endowed — from America, we believe.”
‘They fact-checked nothing’
Claire McCullough of the Good Counsel Network, which witnesses outside the Ealing clinic, told LifeSiteNews that she was struck by the number of lies that Huq told during the debate. Among other things, “we don’t stand in the street handing women pink and blue teddy bears,” McCullough said. “I’ve never heard of anyone doing such a thing.”
McCullough called Huq’s emotional outbursts “completely disproportionate” and said the MPs at the debate had “fact-checked nothing.” She said Huq has never reached out to the Good Counsel Network for a conversation and has rebuffed the Network’s attempts to speak with her. McCullough also denied that the Good Counsel Network is funded by donations from America.
In an earlier interview, McCullough told LifeSiteNews that the pro-life witness in Ealing had been small and unobtrusive, usually involving just one counselor and two witnesses who quietly prayed, for years. The current “circus” began only when “Sister Supporters” first turned up to protest. Since then, more pro-life witnesses have come out to show their support of the Good Counsel Network.
One of Huq’s most startling claims was that a 24-week-old fetus does not have fingernails. (It’s a fact that fingernails begin to develop when a fetus is only 11 weeks old.) Huq is not a medical doctor; she received a Ph.D is in cultural studies when she completed a thesis on youth culture at the University of East London.
Letter from a woman saved from an Ealing abortion
In a stunning contradiction to the grisly portrait of pro-life counselors painted by Huq and her fellow MPs, Sir Edward Leigh, Conservative MP for Gainsborough, presented a letter from a woman who had been saved from an unwanted abortion by pro-life witnesses in Ealing:
“I never wanted to go through with an abortion but I felt a lot of pressure from people around me who offered it as a no brainer solution,” wrote the woman, who prefered to be known only as Kate “for fear of retaliation.”
“On the way into the clinic at the Marie Stopes clinic at Ealing I was offered a leaflet by a woman who I spoke to briefly,” the letter continued. “She just told me she was there if I needed her. I then went into the clinic, still not happy about being there for an abortion, but under immense pressure from a group of people that were with me to go through with it.
“Once in the clinic, while the group were distracted I leapt out of the ground floor window and cleared 3 fences to escape. I talked to the woman on the gate again, who offered any support I needed to keep my baby and this gave me the confidence to leave where I was, supported by the group that this women worked with.
“I didn’t find any aggression from the people offering support outside the Ealing clinic at all. They did have leaflets documenting the development of a baby, a fetus, in the early stages.
“The potential introduction of buffer zones is a really bad idea because women like me, what would they do then? You know, not every woman that walks into those clinics actually wants to go through with the termination. There’s immense pressure, maybe they don’t have financial means to support themselves or their baby, or they feel like there’s no alternatives. These people offer alternatives.
“I had my baby who is now three and a half years old. She’s an amazing, perfect little girl and the love of my life. I want MPs here today calling to introduce buffer zones to realise that she would not be alive today, if they had their way.”
Pro-life demonstrations do not result in crime or disorder
In response to Huq’s demands for public order legislation to remove pro-life witness, Nick Hurd, the Minister for Policing and Fire Service, observed that “few complaints are made to the police by those attending health care clinics” about demonstrators.
However, Hurd claimed that pro-life groups in the UK have adopted “extreme tactics” that he identified with the American pro-life movement, such as displaying “graphic images,” wearing video equipment, and speaking directly to people entering “health clinics.
Nevertheless, he concluded that “the police recently assessed that pro-life demonstrations do not ordinarily result in crime or disorder, and it is rare that police intervention has been called for. I am also aware that pro-life groups deny harassment and intimidation.”
In Huq’s presentation, she repeated many of the same phrases and sentiments she has used in her campaign to rid Ealing of pro-life counselors. Among them was the Catholic-bashing accusation that pro-life witnesses “weaponize rosaries.”
“I feel that if anyone spoke about another religion that way (in Parliament), there would be outrage,” McCullough said.