Last week on the Daily Politics show, Rupa Huq, the Labour MP for Ealing who has been openly encouraging the pro-choice group, Sister Supporter, appeared to waver slightly on her stance.
When it was pointed out to her that it was in fact the pro-choice group Sister Supporter who have been turning the clinic vigils into something of a circus, Ms Huq responded as follows in relation to the protestors, “Clear them all” and “I would like to keep these pavements a safer space and clear of protestors from whatever side”.
I couldn’t help but wonder whether or not Anna Vegilo-White might not have seen that as something of a betrayal coming from the MP who has supported and encouraged her group . Ms Huq appeared to be saying that they were all as bad as each other.
The point made by Clare McCullough, one of the founders of the Good Counsel Network was a valid one. Until the emergence of Sister Supporter about a year ago, there had never previously been any complaints of nuisance by the local residents.
The vigil consists of a handful of mainly elderly people, on the green across the road from the abortion facility, who quietly pray the rosary. They have a couple of signs, one of the Virgin Mary, one a nice picture of a baby in utero, and another which invites women to approach them if they are in need of any assistance. Slightly more controversially, placed on the ground in front of them are three models of plastic foetuses, all anatomically correct and in proportion, corresponding to different stages in pregnancy. One volunteer stands near the clinic entrance offering passers-by a leaflet, which they are free to accept or decline.
If there was harassment of the nature alleged by Sister Supporter and Marie Stopes, including that which stops women and supposedly staff, from entering and leaving the clinic, then existing legislation, such as the Public Order Act, which has been successfully used to prosecute anti-vivisectionist and animal rights campaigners, would already have been used. In an age where the camera phone is ubiquitous and the clinic has two cameras permanently trained upon the vigil, why has there been no footage released of women being harassed, shouted at, abused and even, as Pam Lowe attempted to claim on BBC1’s Sunday Morning Live, having what she sincerely hoped was, holy water, thrown over them. A particularly vicious lie.
The fact is that no criminal prosecution or even arrests have taken place, because no criminal activity has occurred. The Public Space Protection Order, which Ealing Borough Council hopes to impose will criminalise the activities of those on the vigil. Activity, which could arguably be defined as freedom of speech and the right to protest, which is covered by sections 10 and 11 of the Human Rights Act.
Every Saturday, Sister Supporter and their pro-choice rentamob (consisting of an existing London network of pro-choice supporters), pitch up wearing pink high vis jackets, brandishing megaphones and boomboxes and attempt to disrupt the prayer vigil. They sing erudite songs of female emancipation such as Abba’s totemic ‘Dancing Queen’, before tailing off and launching into other classics, such as ‘If you like Pina Colada’. Let’s be honest, it’s about the only pain relief that’s going to be on offer inside a Marie Stopes, according to the recent findings of the CQC.
I’ve blogged about the antics of Sister Supporter before, but they have happily disrupted a peaceful religious procession which departs from Ealing Abbey every Saturday and also attempted to prevent Mass-goers from leaving the building. Their aim is to put as much pressure as possible on the abbey in order that they will then discourage Catholics from participating in any kind of pro-life activity in public. It seems that Sister Supporter aren’t very tolerant when it comes to religious freedom.
As Clare McCullough pointed out on a number of different media, it’s actually far worse for women entering the abortion clinic to be faced with a confrontational throng and an atmosphere of hostility, where they can’t tell who is who, rather than one single person, offering them a leaflet.
Back to Rupa Huq and today in the House of Commons, Ms Huq raised a question about the proposed PSPO in Ealing and whether or not these can be extended across the country, to which Conservative in name only, Amber Rudd appeared to signal her agreement. As part of her question Rupa alluded to the pro-choice demonstrators who have for the past year been creating a situation of hostility and chaos outside the abortion facility, making it very difficult for the general public to pass. (Unlike our quiet rosary prayers who stand on the grass).
It’s clear then, that Rupa Huq sees both sides as a nuisance and equally vexatious. Which begs the question, why does she regularly join in and lead the protestors such as she did this weekend, the day AFTER she had called for them all to be cleared on the Daily Politics show.
And riddle me this. Why then this morning, did Marie Stopes have to ask a group of pro-choice students from a local university not to film their clients as they entered the clinic? Did Marie Stopes note this pro-choice harassment in their log book? Did they film the pro-choice students filming? You can bet your life that had this been pro-lifers the footage would have been all over social media quick sharp complete with obligatory rosaries and ovaries hashtag.
A cynic would suggest that the new pro-choice tactic is indeed to cause as much disruption outside of the clinics as possible in order to get everyone tarred with the same brush and banned as swiftly as possible. No more women helped to choose life for their baby outside of the clinic and no awkward visible reminders of the humanity of the child whose life is at stake. How very convenient.
4 thoughts on “Is Rupa Huq selling out Sister Supporter?”
This kind off apparent dishonesty comes as no surprise.
Also, haven’t pro-abortion campaigners done the same kind of thing elsewhere, for example Oxford? I mean, turned up with their megaphones and loudspeakers etc., to intimidate. It’s the kind of thing I remember all too well from my student days.
Also also, it’s about time I turned up at the vigil outside Marie Stopes in Preston.
This apparently contradictory behaviour is not completely puzzling, Caroline. Ms Huq’s objective – and that of Sister Support – is to end pro-life activity anywhere near abortariums, to eliminate genuine choice.
If the only way to get the requisite disturbance outside the clinic is for them to do it themselves, then that’s what they will do.
The Public Order notice will apply to the genuinely disruptive and intimidating “pro choice” supporters, yes, but the crucial thing is: it will apply to the peaceful and non-intrusive pro-life vigils as well. “Mission accomplished”.
The decision by Ealing Council to impose a ‘Public spaces protection order’ on prayer Vigils near the Marie Stopes Abortion Clinic. This appears to be based on the Council accepting at face value unsubstantiated accusations of Harassment and insults directed at Marie Stopes staff and patients.
Two years ago I represented a prayer Vigil which was threatened with an Injunction by Marie Stopes and similar allegations were made. I asked Marie Stopes to provide some evidence, any evidence at all, to support their accusations and they were unable to produce even one scrap of evidence. What was also significant was that the Police also found no evidence not even enough to justify an arrest and interview let alone a charge.
The law of Harassment already provides ample means of dealing with aggressive harassing behaviour and has been used successfully to deal with aggressive Animal Rights demonstrators and to impose exclusion zones where there is evidence of unacceptable behaviour. The fact that this law has not been used with regard to Abortion vigils is because there is no such unacceptable behaviour.
Dear Caroline ..very well said excellent ..I cannot stress enough the need fro e -mails /letters to THE PRIME MINISTER .. Rt Hon Amber Rudd Home Sec /Mp …..Peoples own Mp ….and The Attorney General Rt Hon Jeremy Wright Mp/QC…Also Mr C McNicholas has written an amazing document /dossier regarding R Huq and S Supporter please feel free to contact him on GLADIUMUIOGD@OUTLOOK.COM……my capitals for easy reading ….to get a copy ..thank you