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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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 – 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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Australia: New laws needed to protect abortion clinic workers

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New laws needed to protect abortion clinic workers

Michelle Thompson
February 12 2018

Imagine going to work and being told by strangers you are going to hell. You have to push past people who tell you what you do is wrong, that you should be ashamed and that you’re doing the devil’s work. Your vehicle is regularly splashed by "holy water" that mysteriously blisters the paint on your car, and you have graphic images shoved in your face as you enter your workplace.

This is the reality for many Australian healthcare workers each day who provide abortion care to thousands of patients.

Continued: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/laws-to-protect-abortion-clinic-workers-20180212-p4z00u.html

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UK: Interested parties invited to provide information on protests outside abortion clinics

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Interested parties invited to provide information on protests outside abortion clinics

Latest step in a review announced by Home Secretary Amber Rudd in November
Published 17 January 2018
From: Home Office

The Home Office is seeking views from interested parties about alleged harassment and intimidating behaviour near abortion clinics in England and Wales.

It is the latest step in the review, announced by Home Secretary Amber Rudd in November, following reports that women have experienced intimidation from protesters when visiting family planning clinics to seek information, advice and services from medical professionals.

Continued: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/interested-parties-invited-to-provide-information-on-protests-outside-abortion-clinics?mc_cid=a82b37b8ad&mc_eid=daef22644f

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Australia: Abortion clinic switch across border from Albury to Wodonga isn’t viable, doctor says

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Abortion clinic switch across border from Albury to Wodonga isn’t viable, doctor says

December 22 2017
Anthony Bunn

THE doctor operating Albury’s abortion clinic says it would be unviable to transfer the practice to Wodonga to take advantage of Victoria’s safe access zone law.

The Englehardt Street clinic is subject to regular vigils by anti-abortionists and a bid this week by Albury’s deputy mayor Amanda Cohn to introduce a by-law stopping protests within 150 metres of the building was rejected 6-3 by her council.

Continued at source: http://www.bordermail.com.au/story/5137770/abortion-clinic-switch-across-border-isnt-viable-doctor-says/

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Australia: Anti-abortion protesters have acted with impunity for decades. That ends now

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Anti-abortion protesters have acted with impunity for decades. That ends now

In a victory for women’s rights, a demonstrator has been found guilty of breaching safe access zones in Victoria

Tania Penovic and Ronli Sifris
Friday 13 October 2017

A 14-year-old girl, scared and vulnerable, realises that she is pregnant. A 43-year-old unemployed mother of five whose husband is recently deceased discovers she is pregnant and does not know how she will cope with another child. A 36-year-old woman with a planned pregnancy is processing a diagnosis of severe foetal abnormality.

Each year many Australian women deal with problem pregnancies. Some decide to continue with the pregnancy and some decide to terminate the pregnancy. Whatever the decision, they have a right to seek unbiased professional counselling and appropriate medical care; and they have a right to do so without being harassed, intimidated or interfered with as they are entering a clinic that provides the full range of reproductive health services. This is why Victoria’s safe access zone legislation, which prohibits certain conduct within 150m of a clinic at which abortions are provided, is so important.

Continued at source: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/13/anti-abortion-protestors-have-acted-with-impunity-for-decades-that-ends-now

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Canada: Make abortion clinic ‘bubble zones’ larger, advocates tell Ontario’s AG

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Make abortion clinic 'bubble zones' larger, advocates tell Ontario's AG

'Protests should take place a safe distance from where patients are seeking healthcare,' letter says

By Kate Bueckert, CBC News
Posted: Aug 02, 2017

A letter calling on the province to keep protesters 150 metres away from abortion clinics and health care providers who provide abortion services has been signed by eight reproductive rights advocacy groups, including one from Kitchener.

Lyndsey Butcher, executive director of the Shore Centre — formerly Planned Parenthood — said new legislation being drafted by Attorney General Yasir Naqvi is based on laws in other provinces, which mandate protesters must stay 50 metres away.

Continued at source: CBC http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kitchener-waterloo/abortion-clinics-bubble-zones-lyndsey-butcher-1.4232561

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