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Pro-abortion campaigners will launch counter-protest to 40 Days for Life

Pro-abortion campaigners are to hold a counter-protest outside the British Pregnancy Advisory Service clinic in central London on March 30.

The demonstration, organised by Abortion Rights, is timed to coincide with the arrival of Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster Alan Hopes in support of the 40 Days for Life campaign.

The counter-demonstration, similar to the tactics used by pro-abortionists in the US, is the latest sign that the pro-life campaign has been having an impact.

Bishop Alan Hopes of Westminster said: “Together with Catholics, priests and laymen, and with other Christians, I will be offering my prayers for those women who are considering an abortion and I will also be praying that our society will come to respect the sanctity of the life of the unborn child.

“Many priests and lay people have already spent time in prayer outside the BPAS clinic and I am glad to be able to join them for what is a principled and peaceful statement of opposition to our society’s ‘culture of death’.”

Campaigners accused 40 Days for Life of “haranguing and intimidating” women seeking abortions, with the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) calling it a “new era” of protests.

BPAS also said there was “no moral justification” for bishops to get involved in such a campaign.

Robert Colquhoun, a spokesman for 40 Days for Life, rejected the criticisms and said that the group’s presence outside the clinic was “peaceful, prayerful and within the law”.

He said: “Since our campaign started in September 2010, we estimate that more than 30 women have chosen life for their unborn children as a result of our campaign through prayer and also through an offer of love, help and support during a difficult time.”

Contrary to reports, he said that members never filmed women going into the clinic and only filmed themselves for protection, often facing threats and profanities from members of the public.

Mr Colquhoun said that the media campaign against 40 Days for Life was a sign that the abortion industry was “rattled”.