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
The pair - standing as Pro Life candidates in the
Assembly elections for South Wales East seat - were
campaigning in Commercial Street, Newport, with the
many passers-by were upset and complained to police,
who arrested and charged them.
the pair will appear before Newport magistrates court
on May 1 - Assembly election day.
Pinto, 23, who lives near London, told the Argus:
"We had only been there about half an hour.
there was a very positive reaction and about five
children aged about ten came up to us asking questions.
were very curious and saying it was awful. They weren't
horrified or hurt by 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.
that's the point, and that's why we are opposed to
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
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.
pair were charged under the Public Order Act for displaying
a sign that was causing distress to passers-by.
Jeff Smith, of Newport Central Police Station, said:
"We had numerous complaints about it and officers
attended the scene.
spokeswoman for the Pro Life said the picture had
been shown in Parliament Square regularly over the
last few months with no arrests.
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.
said: "Babies can be killed or maimed in Iraq
as a result of war and the papers are more than willing
to publish photographs.
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
political censorship is normally associated with ruthless
totalitarian regimes, not a country claiming to be
one of the most democratic."
News Service 24 April:
For full text click
& Potters Bar Times 30 April:
For full text click
News Service 29 April:
Wales Argus News 25 April.
Fiona Pinto: Why I am contesting
the Welsh Assembly Elections
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.
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.
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
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
were offended by the pictures and called the police,
who arrested and charged the pair.
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.
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
a morning of legal argument, Mr Justice Sullivan adjourned
their application to a date in the future.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
said: "We have alarming images shown every day
on television, like Channel Four's autopsy, but abortion
can't be shown.
it is so legitimate, why can't the electorate be able
to see it? The reason is because it is something too
is a freedom of speech issue. We should be able to
put our point across. We felt that we should never
have been arrested."
ProLife Alliance won 562 votes (0.3 per cent) in the
South Wales East constituencey.
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."
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.
spokesperson for Education for Choice, a pro-choice
educational charity, said images used by the ProLife
Alliance 'fuddle the issue'.
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."