UK – Ealing’s abortion clinic safe zone is a win – but the fight for rights isn’t over

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Ealing’s abortion clinic safe zone is a win – but the fight for rights isn’t over
Years of harassment have come to an end with this ruling. Ireland’s referendum, meanwhile, is mired in dirty tactics

Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett
Wed 11 Apr 2018

Last month, Alison (not her real name) says she was accosted on her way into the Marie Stopes clinic in Ealing to discuss a termination. She was approached by a man asking her for help; it was only when he started showing her anti-choice leaflets that she twigged that he was a protester. As she went to leave, he put his hand towards her, saying that he wanted to give her something. In his palm was a tiny model foetus.

Now, in a landmark decision, Ealing council voted to instigate a buffer zone around the clinic, the first of its kind. This radical implementation of a public spaces protection order – now also being considered by other councils – marks an important first step in protecting the rights of women from this kind of harassment.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/11/ealing-abortion-clinic-safe-zone-ireland-referendum

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UK – Can Ealing’s abortion clinic “buffer zone” be replicated to protect women everywhere?

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Can Ealing’s abortion clinic “buffer zone” be replicated to protect women everywhere?
A historic local vote curbing pro-life protesters may be tough for other councils to pursue.

By Anoosh Chakelian
11 April 2018

Anyone living in the west London suburb of Ealing knows of the Mattock Lane protesters. On a quiet road, lining a park and home to an amateur theatre, they stand outside the Marie Stopes sexual health clinic murmuring, shouting and praying (sometimes on their knees), and bearing graphic images for everyone to see.

Growing up in nearby Acton, I knew – as did everyone I knew – many in Ealing who had used the clinic over the years. For free condoms, mainly. But also for sexual health and contraception advice. For the morning-after pill. For chlamydia testing kits. And for abortions.

Continued: https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/health/2018/04/can-ealing-s-abortion-clinic-buffer-zone-be-replicated-protect-women

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UK – Abortion clinic safe zone imposed by Ealing Council

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Abortion clinic safe zone imposed by Ealing Council
10 April 2018

A buffer zone will be created at a west London abortion clinic to stop vigils being held outside the building.

Ealing councillors unanimously voted to implement a safe zone around the Marie Stopes clinic after women complained of intimidation by protesters.

The Good Counsel Network, which holds daily vigils outside the centre in Mattock Lane, denies harassing women.

Continued: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-43718927

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GREAT BRITAIN – Documenting the harassment of anti-abortion protests

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GREAT BRITAIN – Documenting the harassment of anti-abortion protests
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Mar 2, 2018

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (Bpas) is a charity that offers abortion care, contraception, STI testing, miscarriage management, and pregnancy counselling to nearly 80,000 women each year via clinics in England, Wales, and Scotland. As part of their advocacy work, they have been running the Back Off campaign to introduce legal buffer zones around abortion clinics and pregnancy advisory bureaux since 2014, based on evidence collected from their clients that protests outside clinics are distressing and intimidating. Their work with Rupa Huq, a Member of Parliament, led to the establishment of a government review into protests outside abortion clinics, to which they wrote an in-depth response.

In the last 12 months, 18 of their 70 clinics have been affected by anti-abortion protests, including:

Continued:http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/great-britain-documenting-the-harassment-of-anti-abortion-protests/

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UK: Why buffer zones around abortion clinics do not threaten the right to protest

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Why buffer zones around abortion clinics do not threaten the right to protest
February 13, 2018
Arianne Shahvisi

Ealing council in West London could soon set up a buffer zone to limit the harassment faced by patients of a local abortion clinic. The clinic is run by the reproductive health charity Marie Stopes, one of many abortion providers across the UK regularly targeted by anti-abortion protestors. In mid-January, councillors voted to launch a public consultation about the creation of a Public Space Protection Order, or buffer zone, around the clinic.

Common forms of anti-abortion protest include public prayer, hymns, and chanting. Protesters also distribute leaflets exaggerating the risks of abortion, display posters including images of aborted foetuses, strew

continued: https://theconversation.com/why-buffer-zones-around-abortion-clinics-do-not-threaten-the-right-to-protest-90371

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Australia: New laws needed to protect abortion clinic workers

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New laws needed to protect abortion clinic workers

Michelle Thompson
February 12 2018

Imagine going to work and being told by strangers you are going to hell. You have to push past people who tell you what you do is wrong, that you should be ashamed and that you’re doing the devil’s work. Your vehicle is regularly splashed by "holy water" that mysteriously blisters the paint on your car, and you have graphic images shoved in your face as you enter your workplace.

This is the reality for many Australian healthcare workers each day who provide abortion care to thousands of patients.

Continued: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/laws-to-protect-abortion-clinic-workers-20180212-p4z00u.html

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The Canada Summer Jobs kerfuffle: Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing

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The Canada Summer Jobs kerfuffle: Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing

Joyce Arthur
February 2, 2018

Should taxpayers fund summer jobs for youth where they will be trained to challenge and oppose the Charter rights of others? Of course not, but it's been going on under our noses for years. Anti-choice groups have been milking the Canada Summer Jobs fund to the tune of $1.7 million since 2010.

The story began in April 2017, when the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC) reported that many anti-choice groups had been getting Canada Summer Jobs funding for years -- primarily "crisis pregnancy centres" that dissuade women from abortion, but also some political groups, including Campaign Life Coalition, LifeSiteNews, and Canadian Centre for Bio-ethical Reform (CCBR). The latter group is infamous for its public display of gory signs showing alleged aborted fetuses and delivering similar graphic flyers to residences.

Continued at link: http://rabble.ca/columnists/2018/02/canada-summer-jobs-kerfuffle-full-sound-and-fury-signifying-nothing

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Australia: Protect us from anti-abortion protesters, say women’s clinics in WA

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Protect us from anti-abortion protesters, say women's clinics in WA
Marie Stopes staff in Perth say they fear for their safety and for patients as protests intensify in lead up to Easter

Melissa Davey
Thu 25 Jan 2018

The Western Australian government needs to introduce exclusion zones around women’s health clinics as a matter of urgency, according to clinicians who say anti-abortion protesters are becoming more aggressive, spitting on and verbally abusing patients.

Staff at the Marie Stopes family planning clinic in the Perth suburb of Midland told Guardian Australia that they were being targeted from the moment they drove up to the clinic.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/26/protect-us-from-anti-abortion-protesters-say-womens-clinics-in-wa

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UK: Interested parties invited to provide information on protests outside abortion clinics

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Interested parties invited to provide information on protests outside abortion clinics

Latest step in a review announced by Home Secretary Amber Rudd in November
Published 17 January 2018
From: Home Office

The Home Office is seeking views from interested parties about alleged harassment and intimidating behaviour near abortion clinics in England and Wales.

It is the latest step in the review, announced by Home Secretary Amber Rudd in November, following reports that women have experienced intimidation from protesters when visiting family planning clinics to seek information, advice and services from medical professionals.

Continued: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/interested-parties-invited-to-provide-information-on-protests-outside-abortion-clinics?mc_cid=a82b37b8ad&mc_eid=daef22644f

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UK: Ealing Council nears abortion clinic ‘buffer zone’ amid harassment

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Ealing Council nears abortion clinic 'buffer zone' amid harassment
A Marie Stopes clinic in London could be the UK's first to receive the cordon after MPs were told of intimidation against women.

Tuesday 16 January 2018
By Greg Heffer, Political Reporter

Pro-life campaigners could be banned from gathering outside an abortion clinic after a council neared establishing what would likely be the UK's first buffer zone.

Ealing Council agreed on Tuesday night to undertake a public consultation on a possible Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) around the Marie Stopes clinic in west London.

Continued: https://news.sky.com/story/ealing-council-nears-abortion-clinic-buffer-zone-amid-harassment-11210696

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