BBC Radio 1's: 'I thank God I didn't abort my baby'
Visitors to BBC Radio 1's Newsbeat website have been confronted with testimony from a woman who changed her mind about abortion after she encountered pro-life campaigners. The testimony was also mentioned on air during Radio 1's lunchtime news bulletin, reports Christian Concern for our Nation.
Radio 1's target audience is 15 - 29 year olds.
'If I didn't listen to them, I would have regretted it all my life'
In her testimony, 27 year old, Suzan Briggs, explains how meeting members of Abort 67 resulted in her keeping her baby whom she has named Miracle, saying:
"I was really scared. I told them I had three kids already and I didn't need this baby but they told me I didn't have to go through with the termination. They told me God would help me and give me strength. They took me to a coffee shop, they bought me tea and I said I would go home and try to think about it. I tried not to listen to them, but they were praying for me and I was crying and shaking.
"... They kept in touch and came to my home to encourage me. They kept checking I was ok. That kept me going. Now I thank God I didn't pass through that process. At eight weeks you can really see the leg is already formed, the head, the face. Then when I finally saw my daughter, I thought, 'How could I have wanted to terminate this baby?' She has given me joy and peace in my family. She has made me and my partner stronger. The campaigners have also helped me by providing clothes for the baby.
"They don't pressure you outside the clinics if you don't want to listen. They're just giving their opinion.They should be allowed to do it because some people will change their minds. If I didn't listen to them, I would have regretted it all my life."
The Radio 1 feature came as Britain's largest private abortion provider launched a new campaign calling for 'buffer zones' around abortion facilities. BPAS wants to see pro-life advocates who display graphic abortion imagery kept a certain distance from the 'clinics'.
In recent weeks, pro-life group Abort 67 has been displaying images of abortion near a GP surgery in south London where BPAS intends to open a facility. The initiative which seeks to educate people about the reality of abortion has attracted opposition from BPAS. Read more.
The call for 'buffer zones' represents a dramatic U-turn for BPAS chief executive, Ann Furedi, who only last year said that she was against them. In a debate last October about the use of abortion imagery outside abortion facilities, she explained,
“I actually don’t think that there should be laws that make the protests illegal. I don’t think that it should be made illegal to show pictures outside clinics. I think you should be able to display any literature that you want to display in any place that you want to display it.
"... I'm definitely not saying that the argument should be prohibited from outside of our clinics. I've never argued for 'bubble zones' as they've had in the States outside clinics. And I don't."
Andrea Williams commented on recent developments, saying:
"It is fantastic that this wonderful testimony of a life saved has appeared in such a prominent place and will have been read by many young people, helping them to hear things are often hidden from them. This powerful message of life and hope is a direct result of the courageous work that members of Abort 67 are doing week by week.
"Of course, the imagery of abortion is horrific but that is because abortion is horrific. And that is why it is so powerful. It exposes the truth of what happens inside abortion clinics.
"The abortion industry wants to keep the truth from women but pro-life advocates believe that women should have access to it.
"The actions of Abort 67 have catapulted the truth about abortion back into public debate, as recent media coverage highlights. And getting people talking about the reality of abortion is a vital first step in seeing it ended."
In 2012, supported by the Christian Legal Centre, Andy Stephenson of Abort 67 won a key 'freedom of expression' case in relation to the display of abortion images.