A campaigner who targeted a pregnant Labour MP with graphic images of abortion compared the emotional impact of the display to that of the pictures of dead Syrian refugee Alan Kurdi.
Christian Hacking, 29, is attempting to overturn the anti-social behaviour notice he was handed in October last year, after displaying a 10ft by 10ft (3m by 3m) poster of a dead foetus in Stella Creasy’s Walthamstow seat.
Mr Hacking told his appeal hearing: “In 2015 there was a tragic image placed across British mainstream tabloid papers of young three-year-old Syrian child.
“An image like that is arresting, it’s upsetting.
“However, that image effectively changed David Cameron’s mind on British immigration policy overnight.”
Photographs of Alan’s dead body washed up on a beach were featured in newspapers around the world, highlighting the Syrian refugee crisis.
Mr Hacking also referred to stop smoking and anti drink-driving campaigns that have used graphic pictures, adding: “They can have a beneficial impact on informing the public.”
The bloody picture, which Mr Hacking called “24-week-old aborted baby girl” was hung alongside an image of Ms Creasy’s face in the north London town centre, as part of a so-called #StopStella event on October 3.
The event was organised by a group calling itself the Centre for Bioethical Reform UK (CBR).
Mr Hacking claimed the CBR displays had an educational purpose, and told Stratford Magistrates’ Court: “The whole business of what we do is exposing the reality of abortion to members of the public who don’t know what abortion looks like.
“Generally speaking, we know that the public are misinformed by what abortion procedures entail.”
He later added: “In light of Stella Creasy’s abortion legislation, it seems highly peculiar that any legal image of an abortion victim is now being systematically banned within the whole of Waltham Forest, when the MP of that borough is pushing that stuff in Parliament.”
The community protection notice issued to Mr Hacking by Waltham Forest Borough Council banned him from displaying the images in the borough of Waltham Forest.
Wednesday’s hearing was shown video footage from October 3, when Mr Hacking was handed the notice by council staff.
In the clip, he is heard saying: “Abortion is a procedure that takes the life of an innocent human being.”
Opponents were also heard, making remarks such as “I don’t want to hear your voice” and “We’ve all told you to leave”.
CBR conducted a number of campaigns against Ms Creasy during the autumn of 2019, the court heard, which included a number of protests in Walthamstow.
Ms Creasy, 42, has been MP for Walthamstow since 2010, and gave birth to her first child, a daughter, in November 2019.
She supported efforts to bring about a change in the law to see abortion decriminalised in Northern Ireland, and brought forward the amendment which extended abortion rights north of the border.
The hearing continues.