Scotland – Anti-abortion protests face crackdown by Holyrood

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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UK – Decision to ban protests at London abortion clinic upheld

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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UK – Abortion clinic buffer zones set ‘dangerous precedent’ for freedom of speech, campaigners say

Abortion clinic buffer zones set 'dangerous precedent' for freedom of speech, campaigners say

Olivia Rudgard, Social and Religious Affairs Correspondent
28 May 2018

Abortion clinic buffer zones set a “dangerous precedent” for freedom of speech, campaigners have warned as they bid to overturn them.

Civil liberties groups have written to the seven councils who are currently considering public space protection orders to stop "pro-life" campaigners from standing outside abortion clinics to protest, warning that they impose "potentially unlawful restrictions on the rights of freedom of assembly and freedom of expression".

Continued; https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/05/28/abortion-clinic-buffer-zones-set-dangerous-precedent-freedom/

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Abortion debate rages on 50 years after UK legalization

Abortion debate rages on 50 years after UK legalization

April 27, 2018
Reuters Staff

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Abortion has been legal in Britain for 50 years, but the fight to control a woman’s womb remains a political battlefield.

Though abortion for pregnancies up to 24 weeks became legal in 1968, the volume and ferocity of anti-abortion protests have been increasing, women’s rights campaigners say.

Continued: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-women-abortion-factbox/abortion-debate-rages-on-50-years-after-uk-legalization-idUSKBN1HY21N

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UK – Ealing abortion clinic buffer zone comes into force

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

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

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

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

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

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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