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Edited by Eddie Fernandes,
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Fiona Pinto graduated from Oxford University in 2001. Her mother is Irish. Her father is Myron Pinto who was in Goan School, Mombasa (class of '64).
1. South Wales Argus 25 April 2003. Fiona Pinto's arrest.
2. South Wales Argus 25 April 2003. Fiona Pinto: Why I am contesting the Welsh Assembly Elections.
3. Western Mail 1 May 2003. ProLife Party pair can continue using poster
4. Barnet & Potters Bar Times. 7 May 2003. Activist locked up.
5. South Wales Argus 19 June 2003. 'Foetus picture' trial set
6. Barnet & Potters Bar Times. 25 Jun. 2003. ProLife candidate in court
7. Guardian 5 Sept. 2003. Abortion protesters cleared of 'insult'

Other References:

23 Jul. 2004. Hendon & Finchley Times. Headline: Mum's not the word for teenagers. Three out of five teenage pregnancies result in abortions in Barnet and Hertsmere, a new study has revealed. Fiona Pinto, from Potters Bar says girls are not given enough support if they choose to keep their baby, making it seem less of a realistic option when they get counselling. "It makes my blood boil. Women do not want abortions," she said. "There is not much support for these teenagers, and not much money goes into counselling." For full text click here.

22 Apr. 2004. Barnet Times. Anti-abortion activist Fiona Pinto featured in a groundbreaking TV programme on Channel 4 which showed footage of an abortion being performed. 232 words. click here

6 July. 2003. Fiona completes her 10,000 ft sky dive. For full text click here.

Friday 25 April 2003.
Anti-abortion candidates arrested.
by Rhiannon Beacham

ASSEMBLY candidates Joseph Biddulph and Fiona Pinto, pictured, were arrested and charged with a public order offence yesterday - for showing people a picture of a 21-week-old aborted foetus.

The pair - standing as Pro Life candidates in the Assembly elections for South Wales East seat - were campaigning in Commercial Street, Newport, with the life-size picture.

But many passers-by were upset and complained to police, who arrested and charged them.

Now the pair will appear before Newport magistrates court on May 1 - Assembly election day.

Ms Pinto, 23, who lives near London, told the Argus: "We had only been there about half an hour.

"Initially there was a very positive reaction and about five children aged about ten came up to us asking questions.

"They were very curious and saying it was awful. They weren't horrified or hurt by it.

"It was a busy street and there were a couple of people who complained and said we shouldn't be showing it because it's disgusting.

"But that's the point, and that's why we are opposed to it.

"It's a really important issue and although the Assembly hasn't got the power to legislate on abortion it has got the power to move funds away to other things in the NHS.

"We were locked up for three hours and I don't think candidates should be treated like that. It's got to the stage where we are not allowed to speak out.

"The pair were charged under the Public Order Act for displaying a sign that was causing distress to passers-by.

Inspector Jeff Smith, of Newport Central Police Station, said: "We had numerous complaints about it and officers attended the scene.

"A spokeswoman for the Pro Life said the picture had been shown in Parliament Square regularly over the last few months with no arrests.

She said: "We need to draw attention to the fact it happened during election time and they are two registered candidates. We are very worried about it and are now dealing with our solicitors.

"She said: "Babies can be killed or maimed in Iraq as a result of war and the papers are more than willing to publish photographs.

"But political candidates during an election campaign have been taken into custody for showing the reality of what happens to the unborn child during an abortion operation, a procedure funded by the taxpayers of this country.

"Such political censorship is normally associated with ruthless totalitarian regimes, not a country claiming to be one of the most democratic."

Ekklesia News Service 24 April:
For full text click here.

Barnet & Potters Bar Times 30 April:
For full text click here.

Cybercast News Service 29 April:

South Wales Argus News 25 April.
Fiona Pinto: Why I am contesting the Welsh Assembly Elections

I'M 23 and work as a political researcher and I believe passionately that elected representatives have a duty to fight for their constituents and work tirelessly to help the most vulnerable.

Two years ago while record numbers of people were refusing to vote in the last General Election I stood for the ProLife Party days after finishing my university final exams and I am standing again today because until there is absolute respect for human life not only will the killing of innocent children continue but the political system as a whole will continue to fail those most in need.

It does not surprise me to read that the government failed to support the first children's hospital in Wales that there are over 4 000 preventable children's deaths in the UK every year that there is a staffing crisis in the NHS and that the government squanders millions of pounds.

The main political parties care more about image than substance. They say thatheir first duty is to protect their citizens yet they endorse the killing of 200 000 unborn citizens by abortion. In one hospital ward doctors fight to save the life of premature babies in the ward down the corridor babies of the same age are being aborted. Can we wonder at the mess the NHS is in when priorities are this confused?

It is politically correct to support women's rights but every abortion represents a failure to help women. As a recent graduate I know holittle support there is for pregnant students and how much pressure there is to abort or drop out of university.

The ProLife Party's advocates real support for women and families as well as support for the elderly medical research which does not involve destroying human life and is scientifically more advanced than destructive embryo research and real overseas aid to countries.

No one could fail to be moved by the plight of the Iraqi boy without arms pictured in the newspapers with an appeal to the compassionate British public for help. But every newspaper remains silent about the babies that are dismembered daily in this country. The BBC has censored the ProLife Party repeatedly on the grounds that abortion is too terrible to be seen.

If it is too terrible to be seen surely it must be too terrible to do? On May 1 please remember that you have the power to make your voice heard for a child who will never have a voice.

ProLife Party pair can continue using poster

Thursday ,1 May, 2003

A HIGH COURT judge yesterday cleared the way for two anti-abortion campaigners standing in the National Assembly election to continue using a poster of an aborted foetus which had angered members of the public. Police agreed to hand back the poster to ProLife Party candidates Joseph Biddulph and Fiona Pinto for the rest of the election campaign.

The pair were arrested and charged with a public order offence after showing the picture of the 21-week-old foetus while campaigning recently in Newport.

Passers-by were offended by the pictures and called the police, who arrested and charged the pair.

Mr Biddulph, from Pontypridd, and Ms Pinto, from Potters Bar, Herts, were due to appear at Newport Magistrates' Court today - election day - in relation to bail.

But yesterday Ms Pinto, 23, went to the High Court in London and applied for permission to seek judicial re-view of the police action, arguing their arrest and the confiscation of the poster breached their constitutional rights.

After a morning of legal argument, Mr Justice Sullivan adjourned their application to a date in the future.

Meanwhile, he said, they should be free to continue electioneering with the poster on condition they return it to the police 48 hours after the election.

Police lawyers, while undertaking to return the poster, asked the judge to ban it being used "in the public domain to avoid precisely what happened on the previous occasion."

But the judge said he was not prepared to make such an order and arrangements should be made to ensure Ms Pinto, who was the only person before the court yesterday, could "carry on electioneering tomorrow with the assistance of the poster".

Wednesday 7th May, 2003
Activist locked up

When Fiona Pinto was arrested for displaying a photograph in public, it didn't depict graphic sex or violence of the sort freely available on the internet.

Miss Pinto, 23, of Osborne Gardens, Potters Bar, was held in police cells for four hours with her colleague, Joseph Biddulph, before being charged under the 1986 Public Order Act on Thursday.

Her alleged crime was showing an image of a 21-week-old aborted foetus, while campaigning as a candidate for the ProLife Alliance at the Welsh Assembly elections in Newport, south Wales.

She said: "We have alarming images shown every day on television, like Channel Four's autopsy, but abortion can't be shown.

"If it is so legitimate, why can't the electorate be able to see it? The reason is because it is something too shameful.

"This is a freedom of speech issue. We should be able to put our point across. We felt that we should never have been arrested."

The ProLife Alliance won 562 votes (0.3 per cent) in the South Wales East constituencey.

Miss Pinto, a parliamentary researcher, joined the ProLife party after watching a party political broadcast on television in 1997. "When I saw it, I immediately thought, 'maybe you should vote for a single issue party'. There is no other more significant issue than the right of life. We feel that this is something that should be voiced at every election."

Miss Pinto was due to stand trial on polling day (May 1), but was granted a postponement. A High Court judge allowed the party to have its poster back for the duration of the campaign, but ordered that it be handed over for use as evidence following the election.

A spokesperson for Education for Choice, a pro-choice educational charity, said images used by the ProLife Alliance 'fuddle the issue'.

"It makes it harder for young people to make clear and constructive decisions. It doesn't prevent young people having abortions, it just surrounds the whole decision making process with guilt and shame."

Thursday 19 June 2003.
'Foetus picture' trial set.
THE trial of the two anti-abortion campaigners arrested for showing a picture of an aborted foetus in Newport is set to begin on September 3.

Joseph Biddulph, aged 52, of Ebenezer Street, Pontypridd, and Fiona Pinto, (pictured) aged 23, of Potters Bar, London, appeared at Newport magistrates court yesterday for a pre-trial hearing.

The pair have both pleaded not guilty to causing harassment by using insulting words or behaviour on April 24.

Yesterday they also pleaded not guilty to an alternative charge of disorderly behaviour on the same date.

Their trial is expected to last two days and will be heard by Abergavenny magistrates. They were released on unconditional bail.

Wednesday 25 June, 2003
ProLife candidate in court
By Alex Kasriel

A Potters Bar ProLife party candidate now faces additional public disorder charges after displaying a photograph of an aborted foetus as part of her election campaign

Fiona Pinto, aged 23, of Osborne Gardens, thought she would just be tried for displaying offensive material under the Public Order Act, at her pre-trial hearing at Newport Magistrates Court, south Wales, last Wednesday (June18).

But police also brought charges against Pinto for disorderly behaviour during her South Wales East by-election campaign on April 24.

"We were not being disorderly," said Pinto. "There were four police officers, two city rangers and there was only two of us, and we both had our hands full. As a political party, we will never use violence or harassment. We have to work democratically."

During last week's hearing, one police officer described the image of the aborted foetus as Ôone of the most gross, upsetting and totally despicable sights I have ever seen'. But Pinto said if people found the image shocking, that was a reason why abortion should be illegal.

Her trial will be heard on September 3 and 4 in Abergavenny.

Friday, 05 Sept. 2003
Abortion protesters cleared of 'insult'

Two anti-abortion campaigners accused of insulting passersby by displaying a large poster of an aborted foetus were cleared of all charges yesterday by Abergavenny magistrates.
Fiona Pinto, 23, - described as "the darling of the pro-life movement" - and Joseph Biddulph, 52, plan to sue Gwent police for false imprisonment. They were arrested in Newport in April during a Welsh assembly election campaign.

Ms Pinto, from Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, and Mr Biddulph, of Pontypridd, denied displaying the 60x120cm (2x4ft) poster with the intention of insulting people.

Alternative charges of disorderly behaviour were withdrawn on Wednesday after legal argument.

Campaigners calling for their acquittal openly displayed a copy of the poster outside the court during the proceedings yesterday.

Josephine Quintavalle, a former chairwoman of the ProLife Alliance, told the court the poster had been displayed at rallies in Parliament Square in London. It was created by the alliance as an international pro-life icon, and was called Malachi.

"It is Hebrew for messenger," she said, and the pro-life organisation had wished the image to be used as a "message of truth".

The court was told that at least one member of the public had been reduced to tears by the poster.

Sally Ann Flemming-Jones, announcing the not guilty verdicts after more than an hour of deliberations, said: "The bench takes the view that the poster is somewhat in poor taste.

"We feel that its display in a public shopping area during the school holidays could be seen as unwise.

"However, taken in light of modern day images used daily in the media, and with regard to the laws of freedom of expression, we do not find the charges of causing insult proved."

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