Anti-abortionists secretly film clinic

The protesters' video camera in a car outside the clinic yesterday.
The protesters' video camera in a car outside the clinic yesterday.

RIGHT-to-lifers say filming the comings and goings at an Albury abortion clinic is for their self-protection and not meant to intimidate women.

They said it is legal to have the tape running from a camera in a car parked opposite the clinic.

In recent weeks

Police said they have received complaints also but the group was within its rights provided there was no audio or still ­images being recorded.

The Helpers of God’s ­Precious Infants have maintained a Thursday vigil outside the ­Englehardt Street clinic since last November.

An A-frame sign with a ­protest message is placed ­outside the clinic each time they are there.

Two people were handing out pamphlets to those entering the clinic yesterday and generally there is a group of “prayers” holding a vigil on the opposite side of the street.

Lavington mother ­Regina Dawson, who is expecting her fourth child, says they are there to help.

“Of course people complain about the camera but we tell them what we are telling you, it is for our protection,” she said.

“But people are being filmed all over the place, whether it be when you go into a shop or those shows like Beach ­Patrol and they don’t even know it.

“Some people see it as intimidation, we are told that all the time.

“But from the people we approach you will get silence, you will be told to get lost, some people will listen and not ­respond, and yet others want to hear what we say, they are desperate for help.

“We are here to help women.”

Lavington’s Phil Murphy, another of the “sidewalk counsellors”, said he was abused twice yesterday but believed none of the group, which includes more than 30 people, had yet been ­assaulted.

“One man threatened me with a ‘flogging’ if I said anything to his partner when she came out of the clinic,” he said.

“Another threatened to ‘break my jaw’ if I said a single word to either him or his partner.

“Both threats were ­accompanied by aggressive behaviour and ­colourful language.

“We can see that people might see the camera as an invasion of privacy but police are aware that we have it there and they are happy.

“We are here to offer help to girls who are going in there that don’t feel like they have a choice,” Mr Murphy said.

Mrs Dawson said they would maintain the vigil until the clinic closes.