Dear Sadiq Khan, buffer zones only deny women a real choice on abortion

The BPAS Richmond clinic in Twickenham has a buffer zone preventing pro-life vigils from being held outside the premises(Photo: Google Street View)

The Mayor of London recently gave assurances to the pro-choice movement that he "fully supported" buffer zones around abortion clinics designed to, in his words, stop the "harassment" of women using these facilities.

But the mayor should not be uncritically accepting the allegations made by ideologically invested activist groups and he certainly should not be recycling them in a manner which is bound to stoke public anger against an innocent and benign community of pro-lifers.

This anger has already spilled over into actual violence perpetrated against some volunteers offering women support to continue their pregnancy, a fact which demonstrates how dangerously irresponsible it is to publicly support such an inflammatory narrative.

It is the abortion activists, not the pro-life volunteers, who aggressively bully, cat call and even assault those who peacefully and charitably offer assistance to women who wish to receive it.

There are many hundreds of women who have benefitted from a choice that was available to them from no other quarter. Many of these women have publicly attested to the life changing help they have received. But it seems that the Mayor is indifferent to such women and unconcerned about their poverty of choice - a strange position for a representative of the Labour party to be in. For the Mayor, it seems that one choice only is good enough: abortion. But of course one choice is no choice at all.

Some of the women helped by the pro-lifers are literally facing destitution. Some are under intense social pressure. Many have wept lonely prayers begging God to send someone to help them.

Unlike the Mayor and the abortion activists he salutes, we know these women personally.  We recognise that they experience a society which is hostile and inhospitable to the motherhood of poor women. We know the excruciating pressures they are under to end their pregnancies, not as a free choice but as a duty.

The Mayor of London has said he regrets that there is not yet a national ban on the kind of help we offer to them. How is that 'pro choice'?

Yes, we are pro-life. We believe that the taking of innocent, vulnerable human life is always wrong. While we regret abortion, we neither harass or impede anyone. We offer help to those who do want to be mothers. That is more than our opponents are doing.

We are unaware of a single so-called 'pro-choice' group that offers genuine, substantial and enduring help for women in crisis who do not want an abortion. That is what we do. We are the ones putting our beliefs into humanitarian action and offering real choice to women when no one else is willing to help.

Sadiq Khan says he supports those who want to take that lifeline away, we challenge him to meet with the women who give testimony to how vital that lifeline has been for them.

Although it is lamentable that our human rights work earns us the opprobrium of abortion advocates and their ally Mayor Khan, we are undaunted in our efforts because we know what they do not want to know: the women themselves.

Clare Mulvany is spokesperson for Be Here For Me, a campaign group formed by mothers who received help from pro-life vigil volunteers outside abortion clinics.