The media ignores us in the ‘buffer zone’ debate

SIR – We are writing to express our deep distress at the current campaign to introduce buffer zones around abortion clinics (Cover story, October 14).

The Good Counsel Network, which has been so resoundingly criticised in the recent Dispatches programme on Channel 4, offered us our only way out of abortion. All of us were having abortions for a wide array of reasons: domestic violence, abandonment, lack of rights to stay in the UK, no recourse to public funds, pressure from family, lack of money, joblessness and homelessness. None of us sought abortion as our choice, but we sought abortion as the only choice we had. Many of us upon entering Marie Stopes or BPAS centres were not asked about our reasons for wanting to abort. Some were, but none of us were offered any help or support to continue our pregnancies by these centres.

Only through meeting Good Counsel employees and volunteers did any of us receive any offers of help that actually tackled our real problems (housing, ongoing moral support, financial help and legal advice).

If buffer zones are introduced this chance will be denied to hundreds of other women.

The Good Counsel Network has repeatedly asked journalists to interview us and hear our views. This offer has been rejected time and time again. On the issue of buffer zones we want our voices to be heard.

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