Before their arrival at University Park Campus, I had never heard of Abort67. However after some research into them and their website, I was shocked at the fact that their reputation was generally inauspicious among the students of Nottingham. The organisation uses inhumane, violent and unethical protesting methods in order to campaign for what they perceive to be the ethical outcome. Surely others can see the hypocrisy of this? How can Abort67 publicise themselves as an ethical organisation if they are unethical in their methods?

Visitors to the website are confronted with numerous photographs of aborted babies, shocking facts about the procedures of an abortion and a video of an abortion. These images and texts are used with the aim of making any spectator feel bile rising within, and condemn abortion as despicable. Indeed, after reading the majority of the website, it would be more scandalous if one wasn’t shocked by these images. However, this does not automatically declare you as anti-abortion.

Abortion is not a nice procedure, it can be one of the most compromising and difficult decisions a woman has to make in her life and it is difficult to believe that anyone thinks an abortion is a pleasant experience – yet it is vital that you have the right to have a free choice in having one or not.

Fundamentally, Abort67 support the rights of the unborn baby but in doing so eclipse any rights of the woman bearing that child. In order to oppose abortion, the decision has to be made about which life is the more valuable.

Abort67 make their decision clear upon this; they decry women who work with abortion clinic, bpas, as “devious, manipulative, exploitative, treacherous”.

I found this propaganda speech far more horrendous than any of the images published on their website. Abort67 not only sub-categorise women who have had an abortion, but also attack women who support abortion. This is the most unethical method of campaigning for an “ethical outcome”.

‘Abort67 upholds the value, dignity and rights of all human life which includes the unborn’. ‘All human life’ includes, by definition, the life of the woman carrying the child. In order for their campaign to exist, Abort67 cannot comment upon this huge gap in their definition of what they stand for and take away the right to free speech in their campaign.

One needs to take a step back from the emotionally upsetting images in order to realise the flaws in the organisation’s campaign but also to make a measured and reasoned decision about abortion.

Abort67 refuse to give people time to think about the pros and cons of abortion through using these images; the images are designed to shock people into what Abort67 believes is the right decision that abortion should be made illegal. Yet the right decision, in a country of free speech, must depend on the circumstances and the rights of everyone involved, the pregnant women included.

Finally, there are countless reports of Abort67 oppressing the rights of the pregnant women by standing outside hospitals and clinics, assailing those who have had to make this tough decision. Does this not belie the fact that their campaigning is wrong in its methods? If Abort 67’s message was powerful enough then they would not have to resort to physically oppressing women as well as verbally abusing them.

Our society stands for free speech. Granted, this means Abort67 have the right to voice their own opinions regarding abortion, but this does not mean that they have the right to suppress others of theirs and their choice.

Colette Davies

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