Our Lady of the Wayside

Our Lady of the Wayside
Protect Expectant Mothers and Their Babies


Thursday 29 November 2018

Respond to the Richmond Consultation on a Buffer Zone by 9th December - This Brave Mother Did!

Richmond Council is currently consulting on a Buffer Zone around the BPAS abortion Centre in Rosslyn Road, near Twickenham. The Council's Regulatory Committee met in October to decide whether to launch a Buffer Zone consultation. Alina who has challenged Ealing's Buffer Zone in Court (currently awaiting permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal)and Debra, a brave mum who was pregnant as a result of rape, helped by the vigil,  attended and gave their testimonies to the councillors present. Although councillors acknowledged the "emotional" stories that were told, the issues both women raised - of women coerced into abortion who may very well welcome an offer of alternative help and support - were ignored. Richmond Council's consultation ends on 9th December. Please go to http://behereforme.org/richmond-consultation/ to respond to the consultation with guidance to help you. You can read Debra's testimony here:

My name is Debra. I am of South African origin. In 2017 I found myself destitute, stateless and financially worse. I was homeless and ended up being raped through trying to find a safe place to stay. By the time I realised I was pregnant I was over 20 weeks along. I was very confused and was worried that this baby had been conceived in the rape.

I had no home, no money, no support whatsoever. I started wondering how I would manage. I didn’t want to tell those I was staying with, because I knew that would mean the end of my accommodation. So, unsure of what I wanted to do I rang the British Pregnancy Advisory Service where I was booked for an appointment in Richmond.

As I turned onto the street where BPAS is it was very quiet. I noticed three pro-life people opposite the BPAS building, just standing and praying. Across the road outside the building there was one pro-life lady just standing. The lady was standing by the gate as I was approaching, but she wasn’t obstructing the entrance. The pro-life lady already had her hand stretched out with a pink leaflet in her hand. This made it easy for me as I was drawn to it and wanted to see what was in the leaflet but also I didn’t want to engage in any conversation. The lady was very polite and quiet. I just took the leaflet from her hand, since it was clear she was handing them out. There was no talking involved I simply took it and proceeded to BPAS.

At the BPAS centre, once I entered my whole mood changed. I had to focus only on why I was there. As soon as the assessment starts it just straight to business. I was passed from one staff member to another, but none of those people were purely focussed on assessing my reasons and background which had led to me wanting a termination. I spoke to several staff as I had different tests and I would then move on to the next stage until my appointment finished. I just didn’t feel comfortable, as there was no set person to go through my situation and offer me alternatives. When my appointment in the BPAS abortion centre finished, I was offered dates for the abortion.

When I got home I looked at the pro-life leaflet and decided to give The Good Counsel Network a call. I was booked in and I told them my circumstances. They offered me accommodation and financial support, I didn’t believe it at first it was just too good to be true. Amazingly that was the case Good Counsel did provide the help they said they would. Their help meant I could have somewhere safe to live and go through my pregnancy whilst I was sorting my visa issues. I eventually gave birth to a healthy boy. I am so ever grateful to the lady who handed me that leaflet!

If the pro-lifer’s vigil were to be moved away from BPAS it would mean that women in my situation will be left with no alternative to abortion. Women like me will never experience the joy of choosing to have their baby. Women like me will be left with regrets, guilt and only a wish that if only there was an alternative solution they would’ve done things differently. 

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