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.
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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.
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.
'They made me feel like a criminal for having an abortion'
By Jean Mackenzie, Victoria Derbyshire programme
10 April 2018
Anti-abortion campaigners have been accused of harassing women outside abortion clinics across the UK. With one council now deciding whether to ban them, some women say they are still haunted by protesters' behaviour.
"They said I was a murderer... that I was killing something with a heartbeat," Lisa Jones tells the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme.
She says she was harassed a number of years ago by anti-abortion protesters surrounding the entrance to an abortion clinic in Ealing, west London, where she was being seen.
Pregnant women 'so distressed by anti-abortion protesters they refused to leave clinic in fire alarm', MPs told as Government considers buffer zones
MPs met today to consider how to protect women from harassment at abortion clinics
Dec 13, 2017
Pregnant women have been left so distressed by pro-life protesters that they have refused to leave abortion clinics even during a fire alarm, MPs were told.
Women who attend clinics have been filmed or photographed, called “mum” and physically blocked by vocal anti-abortion campaigners in a bid to stop them from terminating a pregnancy.
Continued at source: https://www.standard.co.uk/news/health/pregnant-women-so-distressed-by-antiabortion-protesters-they-refused-to-leave-clinic-in-fire-alarm-a3717811.html