14 Apr 2014

Protestors causing distress - DHB

4:54 pm on 14 April 2014

Anti-abortion protesters are refusing to stop their weekly picket near Thames Hospital despite claims they are distressing the women they are targeting.

The small group has been holding a silent picket every Friday for the past 18 months, the same day the pregnancy terminations take place at the Coromandel hospital.

The group said it wanted to inform women of other options.

But Waikato District Health Board social worker Jo Oliver-Clarke said the group was targeting vulnerable women who had already made an informed decision about terminating their pregnancies.

"They have quite graphic pictures on the placards of unborn ... babies and slogans on the placards which, to women who are coming into the clinic for a pregnancy termination, it can be very distressing," Ms Oliver-Clarke said.

The hospital was legally required to offer unbiased pre-termination counselling, she said.