Our Lady of the Wayside

Our Lady of the Wayside
Protect Expectant Mothers and Their Babies


Thursday 4 April 2019

The Guardian Attacks Peaceful Prayer Vigils But Don't Want to Speak to Mothers Helped.

With Richmond's Buffer Zone coming into effect on 1st April, we have enough to think about. However, it is 40 Days season and the usual bloodhounds come sniffing to the door looking to make up any kind of a story out of any dead twigs they can root up.
I got this email from Guardian journalist Simon Murphy yesterday. I have not replied since his "story" was already written, and he declined my offer to speak to any of the Mothers helped by our vigils. You can hear from the Mothers we have helped here .The Guardian have a poor record themselves in showing consideration for Mothers entering abortion centres, see our post here .
The leaflet below which is not a Good Counsel Leaflet, but which is given out around the country by different groups is the main source of Mr Murphy's discontent. Claiming that including a quote from a woman who found her abortion more difficult to deal with than rape is offensive or is a "tactic". Perhaps he is suggesting this woman should not feel that way, or maybe only that she should not be allowed to share how her experience affected her? I thought it was all about trusting women? But only the right women it seems!
Then the journalist's email below the leaflet gives you a bit of insight into the mindset of these journalists. I will let you be the judge of his article!

Sent: 03 April 2019 16:02
To: Good Counsel Network
Subject: Guardian story -- request for comment
Dear Clare,
As discussed, we intend to publish a story in the Guardian about how anti-abortion protesters have been accused of harassing vulnerable women visiting clinics as they ramp up demonstrations during Lent including handing out leaflets suggesting that a termination is harder to deal with than being raped. 

The Guardian has discovered a series of tactics deployed by anti-abortion protesters, some of whom have been participating in the 40 Days for Life campaign,  as they step up demonstrations in ten locations across the UK the run up to Easter by picketing clinics for up to 12 hours a day. 
As part of the story we will be detailing how leaflets are being handed out during Lent by activists in Birmingham and Leicester, laden with graphic images of foetuses, which imply that rape is easier to overcome than having a termination – as well as suggesting women who have abortions are more likely to commit suicide. The leaflets provide contact details for a woman called “Isabel” at the Good Counsel Network.
The contact details on the leaflet also match those of an organiser listed on 40 days for life’s Birmingham campaign. The leaflet, entitled, “Do you know?” urges people to: “Text/call Isabel now on 07773501721 and let us know how we can help.”
The same number and name is listed on 40 Days for Life’s Birmingham campaign page. See here: https://40daysforlife.com/local-campaigns/birmingham-2/
The protest in Birmingham, outside a Marie Stopes clinic in Edgbaston, is an official 40 Days For Life demonstration. The Leicester protest, outside a BPAS health clinic, is understood not to be officially affiliated with the campaign.
The leaflet purports to quote women who have had abortions with one apparently saying: “For me, the abortion was harder to get over than the rape,” one women apparently says. Another adds: “No one ever told me I would live with this decision for the rest of my life. It’s been several years but my grief continues.”
Another woman says her doctor did not warn her about the “possible profuse bleeding and infection that lasted for weeks” or “the possibility of the hysterectomy I had 8 months later”.
The quotes appear alongside a picture of a 10-week old foetus being held in a hand. The leaflet refers people to the Good Counsel Network, a Catholic group which pays activists to picket outside clinics.
The pamphlet also suggests women who have abortions are more likely to commit suicide. It states: “Pregnancy is a protective factor against suicide. One study found that women who had abortions have six times higher rates of suicide than women who continue their pregnancies.”
The group uses a 28-year-old entry in the British Medical Journal and a 14-year-old Finnish study from the European Journal of Public Health to reference its claims.
However, a House of Commons report produced by the Science and Technology committee in 2007 described the Finnish study as “inappropriate”. It states: “Even though this study and others like it are controlled for demographic characteristics, socioeconomic status, health status and medical disorders, the comparison groups are inappropriate for answering a question about the casual link between abortion and all-cause morbidity.”
Does the Good Counsel Network endorse the messages included in the leaflet, including the suggestion that overcoming a termination is harder to deal with than being raped?
Did the Good Counsel Network help produce this leaflet?
I would be grateful if you could confirm receipt of this email and provide a response by 3pm tomorrow.
Many thanks,

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