This Virtual Reality Video Shows You The Awful Trauma Of Abortion Clinic Harassment

The impact of pro-life protesters is truly terrifying

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As we know, recent legislation in the US is constricting women who need access to safe, legal and inexpensive abortions.

News of four Planned Parenthood clinics being forced to close due to under-funding in Iowa is the latest in a long list of depressing information.

Donald Trump's explicit war on abortion is extending worldwide, by cutting international aid to clinics that provide abortions. He has also ensured that not only do States in the US have full rights to defund abortion clinics as and when they choose, but has placed prominent pro-life activists in senior positions in the Health and Human Services department.

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This began during his campaign for Presidency, where he made comments suggesting women deserve 'some form of punishment' for having abortions.

Yet these attacks on reproductive choices have a trickle-down effect, and although protesting outside health clinics that provide abortions has been happening for years, there was a steep rise in cases of picketing, vandalism, trespassing, obstruction and hate mail/calls from 2015 to 2016 according to the National Abortion Federation.

To show what it's like for a woman to undergo the abuse waiting for them as they try to access their legal right to a safe abortion, Planned Parenthood have released a Virtual Reality video called Across The Line.

The eight-minute video is fairly distressing, as it uses real audio clips from rallies and protests of people hurling abuse at women. Slurs like 'You're a whore', 'Shame on you', 'Start closing your legs' and 'Maybe your Mum should have aborted you' are played to chilling affect throughout.

The Sea Change Programme showed the video at Sundance Film Festival, Cleveland International Film Festival, and South by Southwest Interactive, and viewers found it eye-opening. 'It was insane that people actually had the nerve to say that to people they don't actually know,' one said.

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The Huffington Post reached out to healthcare workers at various clinics to see whether this distressing video was an accurate portrayal of pro-life harassers. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they claimed it was accurate, if a little tame.

Pearl Brady, a volunteer clinic escort in Jamaica, Queens said:

'Protesters don't just yell abhorrent things at people; they surround people and engulf them as they walk down the sidewalk.

'In the video, you don't see the huge posters with Photoshopped mangled fetuses that protesters will shove in people's faces and use to block their path.

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'You don't see how intimidating it can be to people to have protesters lining both sides of the sidewalk yelling obscene things at you from every direction.

'You don't see how the protesters will prey upon anyone who looks the slightest bit uncomfortable or upset and will do everything they can to bring people to tears.'

Gloria Steinem, the prominent feminist icon and activist, has spoken out about her own back-street abortion in the 60's many times, and recently explained most pro-choice people's position on abortion is 'pro-abortion' it's about who gets to make the decision ('a woman and her physician, or the government.')

They are not 'baby-killers' who simply get pregnant to grab a 'free trip to the city' (yes, someone said that), but people who are taking control of their body in the way they, and their doctor, see fit.

Unfortunately, this issue isn't specific to the US, and protesters can also be found outside UK certain UK clinics.

Hopefully, this video will make protesters think twice, let women feel less alone and help lawmakers address the balance between free speech and women's right to choice.

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