Queen's Medical Centre ban plea over anti-abortion group

Image source, 40 Days for life
Image caption,
Campaigners have been holding a "vigil" at the Queen's Medical Centre

Legal powers should be used to remove anti-abortion campaigners from the grounds of a hospital in Nottingham, a pro-choice group has said.

Forty Days for Life has been holding a "vigil" at the Queen's Medical Centre, where abortions take place.

Nottingham Pro Choice said their presence near the hospital's treatment centre is "intimidating" to women.

But Louise Aldred said the group is "raising awareness" of the issues surrounding terminations.

The group said about 50 people have been taking part at different times of the day since 1 March and plan to continue with their "prayer vigil" until the end of Lent.

Ms Aldred, who defended the choice of location, said: "We believe this is a good place to raise awareness about the issue of abortion.

"We want to say 'there is another way'... we don't approach women but if they want to talk to us that's fine."

Image caption,
Nottingham Pro Choice said the presence of anti-abortion campaigners is "intimidating" for women accessing healthcare

She said the international campaign has saved "many babies" across the world by offering their help and support.

However, Rachel Strong from Nottingham Pro Choice said this was a "patronising standpoint" and their presence was "intimidating" for women accessing healthcare there.

"It's not their right to protest that we have an issue with, it's the location and the effect it's having on women already having a difficult time," she said.

She is calling for officials to take out an injunction or use a dispersal order to remove them from the hospital grounds.

Nottingham University Hospitals Trust said: "While we respect people's legal rights to express their views, our priority remains the safety and wellbeing of our patients, visitors and staff.

"The police will be asked to take action in the event of any disturbance, nuisance or anti-social behaviour demonstrated by the group."

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