A video showing a young pregnant woman taking anti-abortion protesters to task outside a London clinic is taking social media by storm today.
The footage, shot by journalist Sunny Hundal, sees the unnamed woman launch into a two-minute impassioned tirade about how the activists, from controversial campaign group Abort67, are wrong to protest outside the health centre.
She happened to be passing by when she encountered Hundal and a member of Bpas (the British Pregnancy Advisory Service) confronting the protesters over their use of a video camera outside the clinic.
They alleged that the protesters were using the camera to film women coming in and out of the clinic - a claim Abort67 members denied.
The woman spend a little time watching the debate before jumping in.
"It's wrong what you're doing," she tells the nonplussed activists. "You don't know why people are doing what they're doing, but you want to be out here judging and filming."
" ...You don’t know why those women are walking in there. They could have been abused, raped - you don’t know."
She then continues into a heartfelt and angry lecture about how the protesters don't know anything about the area they are in, or the background of the women who seek abortions in the clinic:
(The brilliant take down begins at 1.15 minutes in)
The video has quickly been picked up on Twitter, with the woman amassing fans from commentators including writer Caitlin Moran.
Moran called for money to be raised for Kids Company, the organisation that the woman says she works for in the video, as a token of their admiration. She later reported that more than £7,000 had been donated to the charity, which supports vulnerable children, as a result of the video.
Anti-abortion protesters from Abort67, a US-funded group, have become a growing problem in the UK in recent years.
Although polls show that a majority of British people support a woman's right to abortion, these activists are using increasingly confrontational tactics outside clinics across Britain and police say their legal options to counter such protests are limited.
Bpas recently called on the government to introduce more robust regulations to protect women and staff from increasing intimidation,
Women attending these centres are now regularly exposed to groups of anti-abortion activists standing immediately outside. Many of these people bear large banners of dismembered foetuses, strew pathways with plastic foetuses and graphic images, distribute leaflets containing misleading information about abortion, and follow and question women as they enter or leave. Often, these people carry cameras strapped to their chests or positioned on a tripod. Women report feeling intimidated and distressed by this activity as they try to access a lawful healthcare service in confidence.
“One in three women will have an abortion," says Ann Furedi, chief executive of Bpas. "These activists don’t stop women needing abortions, they simply make what is already a difficult day that much harder. Women should feel confident that they can approach centres for pregnancy advice and abortion care without fear of intimidation, or anxious that their identity will be compromised by protesters filming outside. Establishing zones free from anti-abortion activists around clinics would provide the reassurance and security women need."
What do you think? Are these anti-abortion protesters entitled to their say, or completely out of line? And what do you think of the video above? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.