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Freedom of speech, anti-abortion protestors and women: Rights and Limits

bpas 2012 public debate on Tuesday 11th September, 2012

bpas is to host a debate examining the challenges posed by the activities of anti-abortion protestors outside clinics for those with a commitment to freedom of speech.

Chair: David Allen Green, lawyer and journalist

Panel: Andrea Minichiello Williams, Christian Concern and Christian Legal Centre

Ann Furedi, bpas

Max Wind-Cowie, Demos

Sarah Ditum, journalist and columnist

Questions to be explored:

· How do we balance the freedoms to access and offer care with the right to oppose abortion?

· Is limiting the freedom of speech of anti-abortion protestors necessary and proportionate to protect women?

· Does the right to offend include those who are about to go through a medical procedure, including abortion?

The hashtag for this event will be #rightsandlimits

David Allen Green, @DavidAllenGreen

David Allen Green is a journalist and lawyer whose work often deals with balancing the right to free expression with other rights. He is legal correspondent of the New Statesman and head of the media law practice at Preiskel & Co. He was solicitor for Paul Chambers in the successful “Twitter Joke Trial” appeal.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, @A_Minichiello

Andrea Minichiello Williams is a Barrister and the founder and CEO of Christian Concern and the Christian Legal Centre. At Christian Concern she leads the campaigning and policy work, seeking to restore a Christian voice into Government, law and the media, and to influence the nation with the hope of Christ. At the Christian Legal Centre she runs many of the leading religious discrimination cases in the country as she seeks to defend Christian liberties and freedom of speech in an increasingly secular and hostile society. Andrea is a wife and mother of four children

Ann Furedi, @bpas1968

Ann Furedi has been CEO of British Pregnancy Advisory Service since 2003. Before then she was Director of Policy and Press for the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, the UK’s regulator of embryo research and assisted conception. BPAS provides almost 70% of all those that take place in Britain. Furedi has written extensively in defence of women’s autonomy of reproductive choice. She currently chairs the Voice for Choice coalition of UK pro-choice organisations, is a governor of a large further education college and has recently been elected to the Board of the US reproductive health research organisation, IBIS.

Max Wind-Cowie, @MuscularLiberal

Max Wind-Cowie runs the Progressive Conservatism Project which identifies conservative values and policies that have progressive ends at the think-tank Demos. He blogs regularly for ConservativeHome, Platform 10 and the Huffington Post and has written for the Telegraph. Max is a Campaign Adviser to the centre-right campaign group Right Angle.

Sarah Ditum, @sarahditum

Sarah Ditum is a freelance journalist and columnist with a particular interest in pro-choice issues. She has written on the subject for the Guardian, the New Statesman and the New Humanist and blogs at sarahditum.com. She has personal experience of unplanned pregnancy and is the mother of two children.


David Allen Green | talks | www
Andrea Minichiello Williams | talks | www
Ann Furedi | talks | www
Max Wind-Cowie | talks | www
Sarah Ditum | talks | www


Date and Time:

11 September 2012 at 6:30 pm


2 hours



Conway Hall
Conway Hall
25 Red Lion Square
0207 242 8034
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Organised by:

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Available from:

Admission to this event is free and open to all but please book your place in advance with katherine.o'brien@bpas.org

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