UK – Ealing abortion clinic buffer zone comes into force

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Ealing abortion clinic buffer zone comes into force

23 April 2018

A buffer zone has come into force around an abortion clinic in west London.

The order means neither anti-abortion nor pro-choice campaigners are able to stand within 100m (330 ft) of the Marie Stopes clinic in Ealing.

Councillors voted unanimously to implement the safe zone after women complained of intimidation.

Continued: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-43864465

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Britain enforces first abortion clinic exclusion zone

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Britain enforces first abortion clinic exclusion zone

Apr 23, 2018

LONDON (AFP) - A ban on pro-life protests outside an abortion clinic in London came into force on Monday (April 23) in a first that pro-choice campaigners hope will set a precedent for the country.

The local authority in Ealing, west London, imposed an exclusion zone after claims that women and staff at the Marie Stopes clinic were being intimidated and harassed by vigils that have been held outside the building for more than 20 years.

Continued: https://www.straitstimes.com/world/europe/britain-enforces-first-abortion-clinic-exclusion-zone

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UK – At least eight local authorities in England are examining whether to follow Ealing’s lead

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At least eight local authorities in England are examining whether to follow Ealing’s lead

Sarah Marsh
Mon 23 Apr 2018

Eight councils in England are considering setting up abortion clinic buffer zones after pro-choice groups said the number of “intimidating” protests was on the rise.

Across the country, 42 vigils and protests have taken place between 2017 and 2018, according to figures compiled by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS). They were led by a number of anti-abortion groups including the Good Counsel Network and 40 Days for Life.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/23/abortion-clinic-buffer-zones-being-considered-by-more-councils-lambert-protests

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UK – What it’s like to go to an abortion clinic during anti-abortion protests

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What it's like to go to an abortion clinic during anti-abortion protests
'The mood is strangely sombre'

Olivia Petter
Sunday 22 April 2018

Walking down a residential street in Ealing towards Marie Stopes, the abortion clinic where pro-life protesters will be banned from gathering outside as of Monday, I’m struck by an eerie silence.

Far from the vociferous protesters I’d expected, who have allegedly accosted visitors with fetal photographs and blocked them from entering clinics across the capital, the mood outside 87 Maddock Lane is strangely sombre and sepulchral.

Continued: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/anti-abortion-protests-ealing-council-ban-marie-stopes-london-a8316036.html

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UK – Like many women, I had an abortion in Ealing – and this is why I know they needed a buffer zone

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Like many women, I had an abortion in Ealing – and this is why I know they needed a buffer zone

We heard someone shout suddenly, 'You are awful, AWFUL people!' It was a loud and angry blast. From the look of astonished horror my son was giving me and the sensation in my throat, I realised the shouting had come from me

Shappi Khorsandi
Apr 14, 2018

Tucked away in a quiet corner of my native Ealing, dubbed “queen of the suburbs” on account of all the trees and general awesomeness (such as Ealing Studios and the country’s first Nandos) is a Marie Stopes abortion clinic. It’s just near the entrance of Walpole Park where, aged 15, I was stood up by a boy and wept poetically by the pond before wandering sadly home after waiting a mere two and a half hours for him.

A few years ago, after living most of my adult life in much more “cool” parts of London, both north and south, I moved back to my childhood manor to be nearer my parents. I was single and pregnant and needed my mum and dad on my doorstep.

Continued: https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/abortion-ealing-buffer-zone-women-terminations-pro-life-protesters-a8303271.html

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The UK’s First Abortion Clinic Protest Exclusion Zone is All About Women’s Rights

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The UK’s First Abortion Clinic Protest Exclusion Zone is All About Women’s Rights

By Alex Peplow
13th April 2018

Ealing Council in West London has become the first to ban protests within a 100-metre zone around a Marie Stopes abortion clinic. It could spark changes at other services across the country – but is there a conflict of rights?

A Catholic anti-abortion group called the Good Counsel Network has been regularly holding protests outside the clinic. They state that their aim is to attend “vigils” at abortion clinics and peacefully to approach women attending those clinics to try to persuade them to continue with their pregnancies.

Continued: https://rightsinfo.org/the-uks-first-abortion-clinic-protest-exclusion-zone-is-all-about-womens-rights/

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Britain’s first “buffer zone” against protests outside abortion clinics

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Britain’s first “buffer zone” against protests outside abortion clinics

The culture wars arrive in London
Apr 12th 2018

RARELY are council decisions met with applause and yelps of joy. But that was the case on April 10th when Ealing, a west London borough, unanimously voted to introduce the first buffer zone around an abortion clinic in Britain, banning pro-life groups from holding protests or vigils within 100 metres. Pro-choice activists in pink high-visibility jackets chanted and hip-hoorayed outside the town hall, while pro-lifers sang hymns and prayed.

Stand-offs outside abortion clinics are not unique to Ealing. Back Off, a pro-choice charity, has documented demonstrations outside 42 clinics and hospitals across Britain in the past year. Ten other councils are considering taking similar legal action, which may be easier now that Ealing has set a precedent.

Continued: https://www.economist.com/news/britain/21740441-culture-wars-arrive-london-britains-first-buffer-zone-against-protests-outside-abortion

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UK – Buffer zones are not an attack on free speech

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Buffer zones are not an attack on free speech

Ann Furedi, CEO, bpas
12 April 2018

The decision by Ealing Council in London to introduce a buffer zone around a local abortion clinic feels like a bitter-sweet victory. Since launching the Back Off campaign, bpas has worked long and hard to help win this victory, submitting 150 accounts from women and local residents of their experience of anti-abortion activists trying to ‘change women’s minds’ outside the clinic. We support the right of patients to receive, and of clinic staff to deliver, legal, NHS-funded care, free of interference from outsiders driven by their belief that abortion is wrong. The indignity of being pestered to account for your personal, moral decision to a stranger as you enter a medical clinic is an unmeasurable burden. But we also support free speech and the right to protest. We understand the concerns of civil-rights groups such as Liberty, who object that Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) are increasingly used to criminalise non-criminal activity and to victimise the homeless.

Continued: http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/buffer-zones-are-not-an-attack-on-free-speech/21298#.Ws8Z6nfTWEe

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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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