Our Lady of the Wayside

Our Lady of the Wayside
Protect Expectant Mothers and Their Babies


Wednesday 6 March 2019

7 Mother's Testimony Rejected by Richmond Council: Council claims they cannot identify any negative impact PSPO will have for pregnant women.

1 Counsellor offers a leaflet as women enter. They are free to take it or ignore it.
These are the 7 testimonies given in person (or by phone in 2 cases) to a Richmond Council Officer from Mothers who support the presence of Pro-life Vigils outside BPAS in Twickenham. Councillors said they would consider these testimonies, yet in their "impact assessment" the Council said that a PSPO would have no negative impact that they could identify on pregnant women and that it would have a positive effect on pregnant women because it "will safeguard and facilitate the ability for pregnant women access (sic) to the Clinics heath services related to pregnancy and maternity."
Just what "health services related to pregnancy and maternity" are in an abortion centre we all know well.
The testimonies were taken down by a council officer, from women who, largely, are speaking English as a second language. Some of these women corrected and edited the transcripts - others did not get time to do so, so some are in note format, others are in first person testimony. But they are well worth a read. These ladies had great courage to go to the Council in the first place, knowing that previously other Councils had sidelined Mother's voices. For the Council to claim that these women being coerced to have abortions against their wishes, if the vigil had not been there to help them, is not a negative impact is almost beyond belief. Please take the time to read them. Please support us with prayers and donations, so that we can continue to help Mothers like these ones.

Remember that BPAS Twickenham performed 7,325 abortions in 2015 and performed 6,043 abortions 2016. That's a drop of 17.5% Then they performed 5,877 in 2017, which is yet another drop. For the abortion centres this is about money.

Mother 1, from the Punjab
Outside the clinic, I was handed a leaflet. When I found out I was pregnant, financially my position was not that good. I booked an appointment for my abortion. When I went there, I found Good Counsel outside. At first I couldn’t believe the help, I never thought somebody would help you like this, would support you. It’s like somebody is saying it, but are they going to do it or not? That was the first question that came in my mind. So then I talked to the lady who was outside there, she just hugged me and she assured me that “We will support you with whatever you need.” So she told me that if I would like, I could come and talk more about my pregnancy and what are the difficulties I am facing. If I want to have the baby, what best can they do for the baby. So I went with them to the Good Counsel office and there we had a long chat. So then I decided not to terminate.
I feel, the abortion was quite a big burden for me, the whole night before it I couldn’t sleep because I was doing something which I didn’t want, but when I spoke to Good Counsel, I felt really good, I feel very light. It was great talking to them and after that I spoke to a few mums who Good Counsel had helped. I couldn’t believe what they were saying, I spoke to a few mums, I called them. They called me as well. They said “We are getting support for so many years.” So then I believed “Yes, they are there for me.” I have been supported for [some] years. The first thing that came to mind, because we were living in just a single room, my daughter was with me, I came here on a student visa, my visa conditions didn’t allow me to work, so I couldn’t afford two rooms for the family. My landlord told me “Too many people can’t live in one room, so you have to move out”. So GCN provided me with a two bedroom house. They were paying all the rent and everything, and even they were paying for all the groceries as well and diapers and, you know, baby cots. My child got everything. I couldn’t even believe…I couldn’t afford those things and he got all the things from there. From birth to now. Whenever he needs like winter coat or anything. And I just want to add one more thing, because of my little one, my elder daughter is having a better life as well. Whenever I need something for her she gets it from them as well. No, even if I need something or my daughter, whoever in the family. My pregnancy would be terminated definitely if I had not met Good Counsel. When I booked my appointment I didn’t want to terminate the pregnancy, but I kept on looking everywhere for the help, but I couldn’t find any help. I even found Good Counsel Network on the website, but I shut it down because I couldn’t believe it. And then again when I was entering the gate, they handed me the leaflet. Because of that leaflet, when I went inside, I was thinking about that while waiting for my scan, they could not do the abortion that day so when I went out, I spoke to the lady from GCN who was on the door and she told me everything, so I did not go back again. So the leaflet – I think it is the most important thing, it saved a life. I couldn’t believe the website. I don’t understand why people feel offended because if GCN is standing by the gate they are just providing more choices for people like us. They are not harming anyone and there is nothing wrong in it.
Mother 2, from Gujarat
Had become pregnant and as a result her husband left, she had no visa to stay in UK. She went to the clinic and was given a leaflet outside. ‘In heart not ready, in mind ready.’ She was 20 weeks pregnant with a complicated pregnancy.
She had received rent and groceries for years from the GCN. ‘All provided’ along with advice and support and she could ‘phone Clare for help’ and had received help and advice and legal advice. She was not mentally well, she had depression had had received support, including someone to be with her at the hospital and someone to help her when she was unwell or when her children were. She didn’t have access to the Internet, so the leaflet was the only way. Which she felt was important for people whose first language is not English. She found that BPAS don’t speak 2 words to her in the clinic about alternatives to abortion. They just filled a form and do a blood test then procedure starts. Mother 3, from Goa
She has 2 children aged 10 and 4 years. When she became pregnant she thought of having a termination because of financial pressures. Her family lived in rented accommodation. She didn’t want an abortion because she ‘Know what sin is’ but felt like she didn’t have an option. It is a private matter if she wanted to speak to GCN outside BPAS but people were driving Good Counsel away from her. People passing by told her to avoid [the GCN] and were angry on her behalf. They told her these people were paid by Americans. She had been given a leaflet outside the Clinic When she went inside the BPAS clinic a woman ‘grabbed the [GCN] leaflet.’ From her. She booked an appointment for a check-up (abortion consultation). 8th December was her first appointment. She ‘didn’t want to’ have an abortion, she felt she was ‘suffocating inside.’ Her husband didn’t want to have the baby at that time. But later he accepted the pregnancy. She spoke to Clare on the phone and ‘stopped going for appointment’, she ‘know it is a sin’. She was working and cleaning & had to look after the children who go to different schools, ‘walking and walking’ to get then to school. Then cooking. She was very worried about how they would manage, but ‘am happy now’ and ‘looking forward’. Mother 3 had been supported since December 2018.

Actual images used daily opposite BPAS. No aborted babies or accusative messages are ever displayed, yet dozens of complaints to the Council refer to them being present.

Mother 4, from Romania
The first time I found out about this organisation Good Counsel Network was from the leaflets. I was already in the BPAS clinic when I read it so I tried to postpone the abortion. I had already postponed it several times. So my financial situation was very bad and I had no job. I didn’t want the abortion, I wanted to keep the baby but the Clinic was calling me so many times and sending reminders about my appointment. After that I had bleeding for three months. I went back to the clinic, they told me it’s normal – I’m a nurse by the way -I know that that’s not normal. I kept going, they told me if it didn’t stop, to come back again. Then they told me it was not their responsibility. I had a contraceptive implant while I was at the clinic. I told them I had an allergy to the hormones in it, but they said it was completely safe, there were no consequences. Because I told them that just once in my life I had had contraceptive tablets, just once a long time ago, but that my body did not tolerate them. Later on I went back to ask them to remove the implant and they refused. When I asked them why all this had happened to me they said it was just my bad luck. The bleeding was still happening. I went to different clinics, different hospitals, A&E. Meanwhile I was working. I decided to go back to my country at the end of the August 2016 and have the doctor check out my cervix properly, because of the abortion complications. When I came back to the UK, in September 2016, I received a letter for an appointment for a smear test at the surgery. The results were not OK. After that I received another letter for further investigation, a month later, in Kingston Hospital this time. Mainly because of my financial situation and because I was very scared also, I could not attend it. My GP called me again and I had a discussion for about an hour on the phone, trying to convince me to come to the hospital, because she said it is very important to attend and the sooner the better. She put me in touch with a nurse from the hospital, from the colposcopy unit. Finally, I decided to go although I was scared. I had had the abortion on 1st of June 2016. The bleeding had continued until September. The clinic had only offered me Vitamin K. But I said I wanted to know the cause of the bleeding. If I had no medical knowledge at all and if I had believed them that this bleeding was normal, probably I could have had my bleeding stopped with Vitamin K and I would have been resting assured that my health was great which it obviously wasn’t. In January 2017 I had more tests in the hospital and again the results were not OK. There was scarring on my cervix from the abortion, they told me I had CIN 1 on my cervix and they invited me to go further for a colposcopy and biopsy and after that they told me that, actually, I had grade 2 abnormal cells on my cervix ( CIN 2 ) which can lead in few years into cancer, if untreated and I need to have them removed, which I did. The gynaecologist I saw told me the cancer was because of the abortion and the scarring of my cervix as well as the implant which turned my hormonal body balance upside down, and which can cause cancer as a secondary effect. And after a few months, in April 2017, I got pregnant again. I kept the leaflet of the organisation [GCN]. Unfortunately, the father of the baby left, and I was a single mum. I was again in a scary situation, but at least I decided to contact this organisation [GCN] and I got in touch with them at the beginning. And they offered me legal advice whenever I needed it, because I needed to find out my rights as a pregnant woman, and they told me all about it. They offered me support. And I had the baby and everything is fine. And by the way after that I went to hospital again in May 2018, because I was supposed to go again in august 2017 , every 6 months, but because I was pregnant I had to postpone, after the baby was 3 months old I had to go, the results were better , my cervix was improving, because of the pregnancy and in the letter with the results was written that I have to check myself every 3 years now .
Mother 5, (interviewed by telephone)
Became pregnant, GP made appointment at abortion clinic at Richmond. ‘Don’t have support, not asked about support.’ Booked an appointment for surgical abortion. On the day of the abortion [GCN] approached me to ask if there was anything they could do to help. They gave me a leaflet and offered support. I was ‘confused and angry’,’ not sure if want to have [termination], no one to talk to’. ‘I read through the leaflet at home. I didn’t have support’ ‘Landlord asked me to leave. Didn’t have anywhere to go and didn’t want pregnancy.’ Wanted to terminate pregnancy as didn’t have support. ‘I call one lady’ and she offered help and accommodation. [GCN] charity that offer support. March 2017 Decided to go ahead and have the baby with support. Accommodation provided ‘thank god every day’ ‘they provided everything for me from that day to this day’. ‘Groceries, nappies, washing machine, everything’.
Mother 6 (interviewed by telephone)
[GCN] provide genuine offer. 2017 she was ‘destitute and homeless’. When she was trying to find a safe place to stay she was raped. She looked through the internet and could only find abortion providers. Had an appointment at BPAS who ‘don’t offer support offer abortions and no alternatives.
She got a leaflet at the Clinic, when got home she spoke to GCN which offered accommodation and financial support. Baby born 5 months ago. ‘If the pro-life support were moved, then they would never experience the joy of a child’. ‘BPAS offer to talk, but that’s not an offer that really after’. ‘How good the pro-life vigils are especially when women in a desperate situation’. ‘No time is wasted [at BPAS], it is a fast consultation’. ‘I couldn’t stop sobbing, I got through a whole box of tissues’. ‘The support [from the GCN] is unbelievable. I feel happy’ [laughing with happiness and baby gurgling in background].
Mother 7
I found out I was pregnant, I booked an appointment to, terminate, in the clinic. And so I met Good Counsel Network by the gate and we started talking. No one said that I need to, I have to or I should, do anything. It was just an offer and I accepted it. If no one was there, if I just got a leaflet inside - just a leaflet means nothing, especially when you are in this situation, you need something face to face - some information. I believe if the person from the Good Counsel Network weren't there, a person, it wouldn't have made any difference whatsoever, I would not have felt able to keep my baby if I had just been given a leaflet – I needed to meet someone there who I could speak to about the help]. If they did not talk to me, it wouldn't have made any difference to me feeling I had to have an abortion. I heard someone say some people are offended by GCN? We need to think of this in two ways, if there is offence – if you're offending me, you need to be doing something that I don't want you to, and you keep pushing me. But an offer is different. I can offer you something, and you can say 'No, I'm sorry, 'I'm fine'. Then OK, this is an offer, but causing offence is completely different. This is a very emotional time for every woman. If you go to an abortion clinic, you go there because you have no choice. You know, we all have different problems, we all have different reasons, especially if you look at me, I'm like this (pregnant) and I don't have a partner, and not having a partner is not a big problem, but a violent partner, that’s a different thing! So it’s nice that when you feel you have to make a choice that you don't want to make and you don't know where to turn to and get some help. -If someone, was telling me, actually there is help, there is an offer, would you like to take it? When I was ready to go into the clinic and I was crying, this is so important! I think we need to ignore, the fact that sometimes, even when you do good things, some people might get offended for some reason, we can't make everything right for everyone. The important thing, when you put it in balance, which one is important? The unborn child's future, and mother's future, or some people, they might have some experiences, or they can get offended for no reason. I think we need to keep the balance, sometimes I think we just need to, ignore when people get offended, because the important thing is the Mother and her unborn baby's future. It's more important than those people's feelings. I think it is more important. Because I wouldn't be pregnant at the moment if Good Counsel didn't give me the leaflet and if they didn't say “Hi”, because there was no other option in my mind. Without that, keeping the baby wasn't going to happen. So sometimes, just a smiley face, 'Hi, hello!' You know, shaking your hands and showing you that there are good people out there, but they genuinely care about people, and babies. It's important, babies still in the mummy's tummy, you know they have no choice, they didn't choose to be there. And at the same time they don't choose to die as well. Just give unborn babies a life, a chance. Just an offer. No one is pushing anyone, no one is offending anyone, it's just an offer. I think we all need an offer but it is up to you to accept it or reject it. Here some people are just nicely standing by the doors just to give a leaflet, I don’t use rude words, but I think what I am going to say is going to fit perfectly, do people need to kill their babies in order to make other people comfortable? It’s a very big question.
I think after this meeting you have to be very careful...honestly, you cannot receive that kind of support anywhere else. So if the people from GCN can’t stand by the gate, it means you put vulnerable women, mothers, human beings, in danger. Because I have been there by myself. In my experience I have even been to a woman’s refuge and I have been “let go”, left on the road, with no money, with nothing. So these pro-life people need to be standing there outside the abortion clinics. I have never received such support – when you go to some places, -they say - we are here for you, we are here to support you, they always start like that. But everything is just on paper or it’s just what they say. Others say that they will support but you get nothing. But here with GCN it’s not like you get your baby and you are on your own after that – this is very important. They are there from the beginning until you are ready to stand on your own two feet – what is wrong with that? I really believe if I had met them years ago, my life would have been different. Honestly.
What I am doing is I am killing my baby and you are helping me to do that. One hand says “I can help you to kill your baby” but the other hand says “I am giving you a hand for a chance, for your baby and for your life” so we need to compare it. Even when I think about it it breaks my heart and I cannot believe that rather than giving a hand, they are making a complaint, because what they are telling me is I don’t care about the unborn baby, I don’t care about humanity, I don’t care about human beings, I need to be comfortable – in order to do that, I am trying to make you, Good Counsel, stop so you Mothers don’t get help. I don’t care. This is nothing to do with “offensive”, this is not right on a human level, it’s not right. You want me to kill my baby so that you can feel relaxed? – I think this question finishes everything.

1 comment:

  1. The great irony is that the Liberal Democrats claim that policies should be 'evidence-based'. Clearly in the case of abortion they base their policy not on evidence but on ideology.


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