Stop the harassment of women attending for abortions at the Nottingham Treatment Centre
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UNISON NHS Nottingham University Hospitals & Allied Services (NUH & AS) Branch is saying STOP the harassment of women attending the Nottingham Treatment Centre for terminations and also the harassment of NHS staff involved in their care. UNISON is calling for Tracy Taylor, Chief Executive Officer Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Ian Currier, Chief Executive Nottingham City Council, and Phil Hewitt, Chief Executive of NET Nottingham Trams to remove Pro-Life protesters whenever they come on to this land near the entrance of the Treatment Centre.
Over the last few years, there has been a Pro-Life campaign group on the land outside the Nottingham Treatment Centre, Queens Medical Centre campus, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust every day during the time of Lent, the period of 40 days in the Christian calendar that occurs before Easter.
The Pro-Life group stand outside the entrance to the Treatment Centre holding placards, praying, and sometimes approaching women who attend the Centre for terminations, causing them to feel intimidated and harassed. The NHS staff who work in the clinics that care for the women also feel harassed by these actions and by the wording on a flyer that the group distribute referring to the women undergoing abortions and the staff caring for them as committing crimes.
Whilst there have been claims that these Pro-Life protests are "silent vigils" and therefore not a harassment, there have been reports from Pro-Choice groups who have also attended the scene that this is not always the case. Pro-Life supporters have been witnessed taking photographs of women entering the Treatment Centre and whilst they have been told to stop, witnesses have seen this continue.
Women faced with the Pro-Life protests said:
"When arriving, people were outside with signs and it made me scared to go in and I was physically shaking. They should not be allowed to stand outside and people be made to feel like this!"
"Having leaflets shoved in my face and being told I would be 'prayed for', is an invasion of privacy and disregards a much thought about decision that I had to make. It is harassment in my view".
"I felt intimidated and scared to go into the clinic. I felt judged and uncomfortable".
UNISON supports a woman's right to choose and that these choices are inherently linked to women's equal rights. We believe that such protests held outside the Nottingham Treatment Centre, whether silent or not, are harassing women who have already made a difficult decision an NHS staff who care for them.
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