22/10/2012 11:42 BST | Updated 04/12/2012 05:59 GMT

Anti-Abortion Protest By Abort67 Leaves Sussex University Students 'Distressed' (GRAPHIC PICTURE)

Students have been left "distressed and intimidated" after anti-abortion group Abort67 held a demonstration at their university campus.

Members of Abort67 displayed graphic and disturbing pictures of aborted foetuses on Sussex University's campus on Monday to highlight their pro-life campaign.

Student leaders from the Brighton university condemned the organisation's methods and emphasised the student union's pro-choice stance.

SU president Kelly McBride said: "We've received comments from many students distressed and intimidated by the presence of this group.

"I am proud of the Students' Union's pro-choice position and deplore the actions of this group in our community."


Students gathered in front of the protestors in an attempt to shield other members of the public from the images. Abort67 named it the "cover up project"

Brighton has a number of clinics which offer abortions. Other students and Brighton residents vented their anger at Abort67's picketing methods on Twitter:

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The images were described as "huge", "disturbing" and "gory", with the Abort67 members being dubbed "despicable, absolutely horrible". According to one account, the protestors had cameras around their necks to film reactions from members of the public.

A tweet from Abort67's account said:

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One pregnant woman, a member of staff at the university, was left feeling "physically distressed" as she walked through the "unavoidable display" on her way to work.

Sussex University's union has a pro-choice policy which is voted in by students and states:

"'Pro-choice' defines the right to reproductive autonomy. In short, that all females have the right to have children - and to be supported throughout pregnancy, childbirth and childcare - and that they have the right to safe, supportive and legal abortion services if they wish to terminate a pregnancy.

"In order to exercise these rights all people have the right high quality, unbiased sexual health and sexuality education."

"This includes access to sex education, contraception and safe and legal abortion."

A spokesman for the Student Rights group said Abort67's actions on Monday were "deeply concerning".

"Students have a right to express pro-Life views, but the detrimental impact that Abort67’s intrusive demonstrations have on students wellbeing, as well as on campus cohesion, should mean that they have no place on our campuses.

"That a group which targets women at their most vulnerable is attempting to utilise university campuses to intimidate and mislead students is deeply concerning."

The Abort67 group justifies the use of graphic images on its website, saying there is "no way to sugar coat an image of abortion".

"We understand that seeing images of what abortion looks like is extremely distressing but feeling distressed about it is an appropriate response.

"It is definitely not our aim to upset women who have been through the trauma of abortion, however we absolutely believe that the life of an unborn person is considerably more important than hurt feelings.

"We also believe in order for more women not to be damaged by killing their sons and daughters they need to come to terms with the horror of abortion."

A spokeswoman for Education For Choice said the group had been met with a "good deal" of protest in Brighton.

"Abort 67 have been displaying their lurid anti-abortion materials outside clinics which perform abortions for a good while now.

"We are not surprised that students have reacted negatively to their presence at the University of Sussex, as their ‘education project’ consists of little more than graphic images and misinformation.

"It’s a shame Abort67 feel that scare tactics and intimidation are the only way to put across their moral objections to abortion."

A spokesman for Sussex Police said the force had received no complaints about the protest.

WARNING: Graphic image below

One of the posters which was displayed on the university campus: