Stella Creasy, one of the most vocal campaigners for abortion rights in the last Parliament, is being challenged in the general election by a pro-life candidate standing on a “Stop killing pre-born children” ticket.
A leaflet, produced by the Christian Peoples Alliance to promote candidate Deborah Longe, has been distributed in Walthamstow. On the flyer, the constituency is incorrectly spelt as “Walthamstowe.”
The leaflet bears the slogan “Stop killing pre-born children.” Creasy, the Labour candidate, and most recently the MP for Walthamstow, was one of the lead voices in Parliament to extend abortion rights to Northern Ireland and has faced targeted criticism from pro-life groups in the constituency.
Earlier this year, Creasy, who is 9 months pregnant, said she was left feeling “physically sick” after billboards targeting her were put up in Walthamstow. At other protests in the constituency, leaflets were handed out bearing pictures of Creasy, along with photos of foetuses.
The organisation behind the billboards, the UK branch of an American anti-abortion organisation, the Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR), was also referred to the taxman after Creasy told Parliament that the organisation had claimed gift aid but had been refused charitable status by the Charity Commission.
On the election leaflet, the CPA says it is in against abortion, pro-Brexit, and “in favour of marriage as God intended.” The party’s politicians have opposed same-sex marriage in the past.
Creasy told BuzzFeed News: “The CPA have a track record of promoting hate in their campaigns — whether their views of Islam, same-sex marriage, or the rights of women — and it appears from their stance in Walthamstow they intend to continue to do so here.
“I may be heavily pregnant but I can promise residents that won't stop me fighting tooth and nail to protect my hometown from such toxic attempts to divide us, whether they happen during an election or not, as I'm proud to be part of a community that values and celebrates diversity and equality.”
A spokesperson for Christian Peoples Alliance told BuzzFeed News in writing: "We do not promote hate at all. Quite the opposite. Our position is open deabte on all issues and freedom of speech. We are not trying to close down debate. It is Stella Cresey who is trying to close down debate on the issue of abortion."
The spokesperson also rejected the idea that the group promoted hate against Islam. They wrote: "We don't promote hate on same-sex marriage. Our position is we need to respect each other. In fact Sid Cordle [CPA leader] said on the BBC, this is not just about Christians respecting homosexuals, homosexuals also have to repsect Christians."
The spokesperson went on: "It is Stella Creasey [sic] who is full of hate towards Christians. We are not full of hate towards her. We are simply putting forward our policies which we have every right to and yes there will be pictures of unborn children on all our leaflets because people need to see them and need to see the reality of what is being killed when a woman has an abortion."