TENSIONS between anti-abortion and pro-choice protesters in Albury are at boiling point.
Yesterday the revolving roster of supporters from both camps, including a surgeon, a councillor’s wife, a priest and a women’s rights advocate, had more than 10 people at a time on either side of the Englehardt Street abortion clinic.
A group from The Helpers of God’s Precious Infants, including ear, nose and throat specialist Roland von Marburg, held prayers on one side of the street next to an A-frame board with graphic images of aborted foetuses.
Their antagonists wearing white T-shirts with the slogan, “Pro Choice, Pro Privacy” immediately covered the images with umbrellas.
Others also used umbrellas to block the view of a video camera the anti-abortion campaigners use to film the entrance to the clinic.
On the other side of the street the pro-choice group chaperoned women visiting the clinic as others from The Helpers of God’s Precious Infants tried to hand them pamphlets.
Albury’s Alicia Brooks was one of the pro-choice chaperones.
“I was livid when I read what was happening down here with the cameras,” she said.
“These girls are doing it tough enough, they have a right to their own privacy,” she said.
“What can they possibly gain from the video footage, no one believes that the camera is there to protect them from violence or assaults.
“We think they use it to track these girls down.”
But Dr von Marburg said they were simply there to help.
“We are here to support the women and stop the cover-up,” he said.
“The umbrellas they use are just part of the cover-up.”
Paul Gurney used his umbrella to block the video camera in a car.
“As far as I’m concerned this is a hidden camera and it is totally inappropriate,” he said.
“No one would question these people’s rights to hand out this information in Dean Street but here it is deliberately offensive and designed to intimidate.”