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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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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UK – ‘They made me feel like a criminal for having an abortion’

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'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.

Continued: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-43669652

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UK – Protesters could be banned from a London abortion clinic, in a historic council vote

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Protesters could be banned from a London abortion clinic, in a historic council vote

Verity Ryan
9 April 2018

Protests could be banned outside an abortion clinic for the first time in a bid to stop women and staff from being harassed and intimidated.

Ealing Council in West London will hold a vote on Tuesday evening on whether to introduce a "buffer zone" around a Marie Stopes clinic after a public consultation gathered overwhelming support.

Continued: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/04/09/protestors-could-banned-london-abortion-clinic-historic-council/

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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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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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