Women are being scared and intimidated by anti-abortion protesters appearing to film them outside clinics, according to a BPAS counsellor blogging for The Huffington Post UK.
Cath Sutton, who works for the abortion provider, said pro-life group Abort67 "wave banners with explicit pictures of foetuses and shout at the women as they enter."
"They have a camera set up on a tripod, which gives the impression they are filming or photographing those entering and leaving the building. We don't know what images have been recorded and what they are used for but the end result is the women seeking our help often feeling scared and intimidated." she writes.
Two Abort67 protesters were arrested in June 2011 outside an abortion clinic in Brighton for refusing to take down a banner showing a graphic image of an aborted fetus.
Father-of-three Andy Stephenson said it was a "free speech issue", telling the Daily Telegraph "We are determined to fight it all the way.”
But Sutton says: "Those of us who work in the clinics know that this form of protest isn't about stopping abortion - because it clearly doesn't prevent women seeking it and never has. It is designed simply to cause as much distress to women as possible on what is already a difficult day in their lives.
"Freedoms need to be balanced. Abort67 should absolutely enjoy their freedom to voice their views - but not at the expense of the freedom of those who are trying to access care. And it's the freedoms of the latter that are being eroded."
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