The council has put in place a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) that criminalises:
* Conversations about abortion or alternative options
* Offering leaflets that list the practical help that women can access
The only way that women can continue to receive the help they desperately need, at the place they need it, is to challenge the censorship zone at the High Court. I do not have the financial resources to challenge the PSPO without your help. The clock is ticking, I have less than four weeks to lodge the appeal!
I understand what is at stake in Richmond because I currently spend my spare time offering women other options to abortion. Many women are coerced into abortion and others just want the choice of exploring other options. Because of the censorship zone, I can no longer offer help where women most need me.
To understand my motivations, please watch the video below. The video highlights one example of a client of mine who needed my presence in the street that day. Towards the end, I speak about the philosophy behind my counselling; love everybody without condition!
Throughout my many years as a counsellor, I have met hundreds of women who just needed a little help, at the right time and in the right place, in order to keep the child that they desperately wanted. I have also cared for women who didn't want to go through with an abortion but felt like they had no choice, and I have seen the psychological and physical hurt it has caused them. As a result of my experiences, I cannot stand back and allow Richmond Council to introduce a draconian censorship zone that prevents real choice for women.
Richmond Council has ignored the voices of the mothers who have met with council officials and warned them of the detrimental effects of the censorship zone. This is why I am proud to be part of the Be Here For Me campaign, run by volunteer mothers, on behalf of other women who need a little help in order to continue with their pregnancy.
The Richmond censorship zone has wider implications than abortion. Our rights to freely assemble, pray, speak our minds, exchange information and act according to our consciences are all suppressed by this PSPO. Civil liberty groups such as the Manifesto Club and Liberty recognise the inherent problems with PSPOs.
Please give generously to help me cover the legal costs that I have already incurred in bringing the challenge against Richmond, and all future legal costs and expenses. Without your strong financial support, an appeal will simply not be possible.
I want to emphasise that none of the funds received will be used for my own financial benefit. If there are any remaining funds, they will be used to provide practical support to women who do want to continue with their pregnancies and campaign efforts to ensure that help can be offered outside abortion centres across the country.