Northern Ireland

Abortion: Protesters' campaign 'harassing' Labour MP

Stella Creasy Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Stella Creasy is the MP for Walthamstow

A Labour MP has complained in the House of Commons about a campaign of "intimidation and harassment" against her by an anti-abortion group.

Stella Creasy spoke after images of her with a foetus and the caption "your MP is working hard to take away my human rights" went up in her constituency.

The Centre for Bioethical Reform UK are behind the Walthamstow billboards.

They linked their campaign to Ms Creasy's role in supporting change to abortion laws in NI.

Image caption MP Stella Creasy is demanding the removal of the posters

Northern Ireland's abortion law is set to change if the power-sharing executive at Stormont is not restored by 21 October.

The 1967 Abortion Act - which made terminations legal in other parts of the UK - was never extended to Northern Ireland and as it stands a termination is only permitted in circumstances where continuing a pregnancy poses a serious and permanent risk to a woman's health.

If the law is changed, the government must also put in place regulations for abortion services by next April.

Ms Creasy said the campaign group had turned up in Walthamstow town centre with a 20 foot banner of her head next to an image of a dead baby around the same age as one which she is currently carrying.

Ms Creasy raised questions about the funding of the Centre's Stop Stella campaign and told MPs she has sought police assistance.

'Vile and despicable'

The Commons Speaker John Bercow expressed solidarity with the MP, describing the campaign against her as "vile, unconscionable and despicable".

Women's Minister Victoria Atkins also said the government is concerned about the nature of the campaign and takes the matter very seriously.

On Tuesday, the Northern Ireland Office announced plans to launch an awareness campaign related to the likely change in the law on abortion.

The campaign is expected to begin early next month.

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