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 – We should rein in abortion clinic protests without threatening free speech

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We should rein in abortion clinic protests without threatening free speech

Telegraph View
11 April 2018

Free speech is a precious commodity that we constrain at our peril. But when its exercise hurts or intimidates others, what then? And who should set the boundaries? In Ealing, west London, confrontations have taken place outside an abortion clinic between so-called pro-life protesters and women attending for advice or terminations.

The local council has responded by imposing a “safe space” buffer zone, within which no protests are permitted. It is using a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) to stop vigils being held outside the building. This is a contentious use of powers introduced to curb anti-social behaviour. The concept of “safe spaces” is associated with shutting down debate in universities where speakers whose views some do not share are denied a platform.

Continued: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/11/should-rein-abortion-clinic-protests-without-threatening-free/

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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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Canada – No-go abortion clinic zones in Alberta bill

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No-go abortion clinic zones in Alberta bill
News Apr 5, 2018

EDMONTON — Alberta has introduced legislation to keep protesters at least 50 metres away from abortion clinics, and to make it illegal for demonstrators to video, record audio or take pictures of people entering or leaving the building.

The province would also, if asked, designate similar no-go zones around homes and offices of doctors and other staff who provide abortions.

Continued: https://www.northumberlandnews.com/news-story/8376269-no-go-abortion-clinic-zones-in-alberta-bill/

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Canada – Bill to set 50-metre, no-protester zone around Alberta abortion clinics

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Bill to set 50-metre, no-protester zone around Alberta abortion clinics

'It is a great day for women who need this': Proposed legislation carries $10,000 fine for repeat offenders

Michelle Bellefontaine · CBC News
Posted: Apr 05, 2018

Protesters who repeatedly violate a "safe zone" proposed for Alberta's two stand-alone abortion clinics could face a maximum $10,000 fine under proposed legislation introduced Thursday.

Bill 9, the Protecting Choice for Women Accessing Health Care Act, would mean protesters could not stand within 50-metre zones of the Kensington Clinic in Calgary and Women's Health Options in Edmonton.

Continued: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/bill-to-set-50-metre-no-protester-zone-around-alberta-abortion-clinics-1.4607088

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UK – Buffer zones urged as Lent anti-abortion vigils target clinics

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Buffer zones urged as Lent anti-abortion vigils target clinics
Calls for new legislation to be brought in after women report being left frightened and anxious

Frances Perraudin
Sat 17 Mar 2018

Women’s groups have renewed calls for buffer zones around clinics as anti-abortion campaigners increase their activities to coincide with Lent.

The US anti-abortion group 40 Days For Life is currently holding 12 vigils outside clinics in cities across the UK, including Birmingham, Manchester and Cardiff. The vigils, which will run until Palm Sunday (25 March), are staffed with volunteers, who carry placards and hand out literature attempting aim to dissuade women from terminating pregnancies.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/17/abortion-vigils-buffer-zones

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Isle of Man – Abortion reform: Were extreme protests just a ‘moment in time’?

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Abortion reform: Were extreme protests just a 'moment in time'?

Friday, 16 March 2018

A claim was made this week that that further extreme anti-abortion protests were unlikely.

Chris Robertshaw (Douglas East) made the assertion as he questioned the need for a proposal to introduce a law creating safety zones around areas where abortion services would be provided.

Continued: http://www.iomtoday.co.im/article.cfm?id=39225&headline=Abortion%20reform:%20Were%20extreme%20protests%20just%20a%20%27moment%20in%20time%27?&sectionIs=NEWS&searchyear=2018

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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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How UK anti-abortion activists use American tactics to shock and shame women

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How UK anti-abortion activists use American tactics to shock and shame women
Phoebe Braithwaite
19 December 2017

50 years after the 1967 Abortion Act, the anti-abortion movement is consolidating – with transatlantic support.

Anti-abortion activists gathered outside the UK Houses of Parliament on 27 October to protest 50 years since the passing into law of the UK’s 1967 Abortion Act. Nina Naidu* was working nearby, and went to take a closer look.

Like many women in the UK, she had previous, personal experience with both abortion and virulent anti-choice demonstrators. Earlier this year, the 24-year-old decided to terminate a pregnancy, and was accosted by protestors on the way to her appointment.

Continued at source: https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/phoebe-braithwaite/uk-anti-abortion-american-tactics-shock-shame

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