AN Albury woman who had an abortion after being raped has pleaded for pro-life advocates to stop protesting at clinics, saying they need to “think about the harm they are doing”.
Margaret told talkback radio host Neil Mitchell she was appalled by protesters who staked out abortion clinics, saying they did not understand the psychological torment suffered by women having terminations.
“I just wish these people, who say they are doing God’s work, would stop and think about the harm they are doing to women who are already suffering,” Margaret said.
“Isn’t Christianity about caring for other people and showing other people sympathy?
“These people don’t do that.
“These people have no understanding of what a woman goes through.”
Margaret’s call to Mitchell, whose show is relayed to Albury’s 2AY from Melbourne’s 3AW, was prompted by news that an abortion clinic in the Victorian capital is taking Melbourne Council to court to demand it enforces laws to protect patients and staff from protesters.
“I live in Albury and we have a clinic here that does the same and these people stand across the road from the same clinic and pray and have these horrible, horrible signs up with these images,” she said.
She began crying and her voice broke off as she told of her experience more than 20 years ago.
“I still suffer with the pain,” she said.
“It’s just so distressing to hear these people talk this way, they don’t know what the people go through, what us women go through.”
Melbourne Council said new “move on” laws would help it deal with anti-abortion protesters, as the council faced legal action for failing to stop their harassment of patients.
The Fertility Control Clinic in East Melbourne said patients had been intimidated by protesters for decades, called murderers and whores and told they were going to hell as they tried to enter the clinic.
It is taking Supreme Court action against Melbourne Council for failing to enforce laws that could stop the protests.
Tanya O’Brien, a spokeswoman for Helpers of God’s Precious Infants, said the group may seek to appear at the hearing as a friend of the court.
“We would certainly like to challenge the lies the clinic brings up in that court case,” she said.
Ms O’Brien denied the group harasses people.
“We aren’t there to fight, we are there to reach out in help,” she said.