Campaigners await UK decision on abortion clinic buffer zones

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Campaigners await UK decision on abortion clinic buffer zones
Pro-choice activists say they expect announcement from Home Office within weeks

Caroline Davies
Mon 13 Aug 2018

Campaigners calling for buffer zones to prevent harassment and abuse of women accessing abortion centres are expecting a Home Office announcement within weeks.

The Labour MP Rupa Huq, who leads a cross-party campaign calling for national legislation following the model of the UK’s first abortion clinic safe zone in Ealing, west London, said the home secretary had pledged an announcement in September.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/13/abortion-clinic-buffer-zones-campaigners-await-uk-decision

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USA – The Struggle to Save Abortion Care

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The Struggle to Save Abortion Care

Carole Joffe
First Published August 1, 2018
https://doi.org/10.1177/1536504218792522

Abstract: Resisting both physical attacks and widespread policy proscriptions, mission-driven abortion care providers continue working to help their patients.

“Some will rob you with a six gun, some with a fountain pen.” This line from an old Woody Guthrie song is an apt description of the vulnerability of abortion providers in the United States. Clinics have long been subject to physical attacks: eleven individuals have been murdered by anti-abortion extremists, thousands more have been terrorized at their homes and offices, and numerous clinics have been vandalized, even destroyed by fire-bombings. More recently, a harsh new regulatory regime—Guthrie’s “pen”—comprising onerous restrictions passed by state legislatures and hostile inspections by health departments threaten the ability of providers to keep their facilities open and to sustain their vision of “woman-centered” care. As a longtime abortion clinic administrator told me, “Regulatory interference is the new frontier of the anti-abortion movement.”

Continued: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1536504218792522

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Argentinian Doctors Are Protesting Abortion Legalization & It Shows How Contentious The Issue Is

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Argentinian Doctors Are Protesting Abortion Legalization & It Shows How Contentious The Issue Is

By Monica Busch
Aug 1, 2018

Although there has been considerable progress over the years, in most corners of the world, abortion remains a divisive, contentious topic. This remains the case in Argentina, where even some doctors are protesting legalizing abortion procedures. Like anywhere else where the topic is debated, Argentinian doctors against the procedure argue that they believe they would be complicit in ending a human life.

As of now, abortion is only legal in Argentina in circumstances of rape, or when there is a severe risk to a pregnant woman's health. The doctors demonstrating in Argentina this week are protesting a bill that would legalize abortions up to 14 weeks of gestation. That bill already passed in the government's lower house on June 14, albeit by a slim, four-vote majority. Even then, the successful vote only took place after 22 hours of debate, NPR reports.

Continued: https://www.bustle.com/p/argentinian-doctors-are-protesting-abortion-legalization-it-shows-how-contentious-the-issue-is-9969087

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Scotland – Anti-abortion protests face crackdown by Holyrood

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Anti-abortion protests face crackdown by Holyrood

Mark McLaughlin
July 26 2018

Protesters outside Scottish abortion clinics are being monitored by police with a view to a possible crackdown.

Aileen Campbell, the public health minister, said that pro-life protests could be distressing for women and action may be required.

Some councils want “buffer zones” to keep demonstrators away from patients and staff after a surge in pro-life vigils.

Continued: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/anti-abortion-protests-face-crackdown-by-holyrood-038tcxsdg

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Proposed Queensland abortion laws will improve access for regional and remote women, pro-choice advocates say

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Proposed Queensland abortion laws will improve access for regional and remote women, pro-choice advocates say

ABC Capricornia
By Megan Hendry and Amy McCosker
July 25, 2018

Pro-choice advocates have thrown their support behind proposed changes to Queensland's abortion laws, saying it will give women in regional and remote areas better access to services.

Women in a large parts of north and west Queensland have limited access to abortion services and have been forced to travel vast distances to Rockhampton, Townsville or even interstate, according to not-for-profit abortion service provider, Marie Stopes Australia.

Continued: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-26/abortion-laws-will-improve-access-for-regional-and-remote-women/10004142

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USA – Fed. Judge Finds Abortion Protesters in Queens Did Not Violate Clinic-Access Laws

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Fed. Judge Finds Abortion Protesters in Queens Did Not Violate Clinic-Access Laws
A federal judge found that a group of anti-abortion protesters who keep a regular presence outside the front door of a clinic in Queens did not run afoul of federal and state statutes intended to protect access to clinics.

By Andrew Denney
July 23, 2018

A federal judge found that a group of anti-abortion protesters who keep a regular presence outside the front door of a clinic in Queens did not run afoul of federal and state statutes intended to protect access to clinics.

The case pertains to clashes that have raged every Saturday for the last six years between anti-abortion protesters who are a regular presence outside Choices Women’s Medical Center in Jamaica, Queens, and escorts who walk with patients to the entrance and shield them from the protesters.

Continued: https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2018/07/23/fed-judge-finds-abortion-protesters-in-queens-did-not-violate-clinic-access-laws/?slreturn=20180625174235

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UK – Decision to ban protests at London abortion clinic upheld

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Decision to ban protests at London abortion clinic upheld
Campaigners lose high court challenge over protest-free buffer zone at clinic in Ealing

Sarah Marsh
Mon 2 Jul 2018

A council’s decision to ban anti-abortion protesters from gathering outside a London clinic has been upheld in the high court.

Campaigners lost a legal challenge to a move by Ealing council to create a 100-metre, protest-free “buffer zone” around the Marie Stopes clinic. The council was the first in the country to take such a decision in an attempt to shield women from demonstrators.

continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/02/decision-ban-protests-london-abortion-clinic-upheld-high-court-ealing

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Evangelical Christians step up abortion clinic protests in Queenslan

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Evangelical Christians step up abortion clinic protests in Queensland
Pro-choice groups send volunteers to escort women as state prepares to decriminalise

Ben Smee
Mon 18 Jun 2018

An evangelical group has ramped up demonstrations outside several Brisbane abortion clinics as Queensland prepares to reform its 1899 laws that make abortion a criminal offence.

Guardian Australia is aware of several recent verbal clashes between members of the anti-abortion group “Project 139” and clinic patients. The group has sought and received permits to conduct protests at four Brisbane clinics until at least August.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/19/evangelical-christians-step-up-abortion-clinic-protests-in-queensland

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Abortion clinic ‘safe access zones’ become law in NSW

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Abortion clinic 'safe access zones' become law in NSW

By Lisa Visentin
8 June 2018

Protesters will face jail time for harassing people outside abortion facilities after NSW Parliament passed laws to impose 150-metre "safe access zones" around clinics and hospitals that provide terminations.

The laws, which are aimed at ensuring the privacy and safety of women accessing clinics, passed easily and without amendment through the Legislative Assembly, with a final vote of 61 to 18 in favour.

Continued: https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/abortion-clinic-safe-access-zones-become-law-in-nsw-20180607-p4zk18.html

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Ban on anti-abortion protests at London clinic disproportionate, court hears

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Ban on anti-abortion protests at London clinic disproportionate, court hears
Council accused of infringing freedom of speech with ban at Marie Stopes clinic in Ealing

Dan Sabbagh
Thu 7 Jun 2018

An anti-abortion group seeking to overturn the UK’s only exclusion zone around a Marie Stopes clinic, in Ealing, west London, have told judges they believe the council’s actions amounted to an illegal discrimination against their right to free speech and peaceful protest.

Alasdair Henderson, a lawyer representing a woman who is a member of the Good Counsel Network, said that the ban on protesters from being within 100 metres of the clinic should be struck down because the effect on the anti-abortion group was “inherently disproportionate”.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/07/anti-abortion-protests-ban-ealing-marie-stopes-clinic-london

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