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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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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UK: ‘This is groundbreaking’: the activists ending harassment at abortion clinics

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'This is groundbreaking’: the activists ending harassment at abortion clinics

Tired of women having to run the gauntlet of anti-abortion vigils, UK campaigners are making history with protective buffer zones

Alexandra Topping
Friday 27 October 2017

A young woman with blue hair and a wide smile cycles past the Marie Stopes clinic in Ealing, west London. When she spots the Sister Supporter volunteers wearing luminous pink tabards emblazoned with the words “pro-choice”, she rings her bell and calls out: “Well done! I think it’s incredible what you have done.”

The group, set up just two years ago, has achieved minor celebrity status in this part of west London. Along with others, it helped convince the council earlier this month to vote in favour of a implementing a buffer zone around the clinic, to protect women from persistent anti-abortion protesters. After a two-month consultation, barring any unforeseen interventions, the ruling will come into effect and the protesters will be pushed back.

Continued at source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/27/abortion-clinic-ealing-london-buffer-zone-activists-women?CMP=share_btn_link

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UK: Antisocial behaviour ruling could halt anti-abortion protests outside clinics

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Antisocial behaviour ruling could halt anti-abortion protests outside clinics

Ealing council, in west London, votes to prevent protest as Labour MP calls for amendment to domestic violence bill to protect women visiting clinics

Jessica Elgot Political reporter
Thursday 12 October 2017

Anti-abortion protests outside clinics across the UK could be halted using antisocial behaviour legislation, a Labour MP has said, after her council took a significant decision to stop a group from approaching women at a west London clinic.

Rupa Huq MP said a “national and permanent response” was needed after Ealing councillors voted overwhelmingly this week in favour of a motion to stop the anti-abortion groups from protesting outside a Marie Stopes clinic in the borough.

Continued at source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/12/anti-social-behaviour-ruling-could-halt-anti-abortion-protests-outside-clinics

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UK: The fight against anti-abortion protesters harassing women

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The fight against anti-abortion protesters harassing women
13 October 2017
Kylie Noble

Ealing Council made a monumental move to stop the intimidating vigils at the west London Marie Stopes clinic

A London Borough has become the first local authority in Britain to potentially ban anti-choice protesters from outside an abortion clinic's premises - a move that would protect women from harassment and trauma, as they access vital, legal healthcare.

Councillors in Ealing voted majority, with two abstentions, to take “all necessary actions within its powers, utilising all necessary resources, to prevent anti-abortion protesters from intimidating and harassing women”, at the Marie Stopes clinic on Matlock Lane, west London.

Continued at source: http://www.dazeddigital.com/politics/article/37749/1/the-fight-against-anti-abortion-protesters-harassing-women

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UK: Ealing Council to consider anti-abortion protest order

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Ealing Council to consider anti-abortion protest order

9 October 2017
From the section London

A London council is considering legal action against anti-abortion protesters accused of "harassing" women attending a clinic.

Ealing Council will discuss options to prevent "the daily disruption and intimidation" at Marie Stopes clinic in Mattock Lane, Ealing.

Some protesters used "deliberately disturbing images", the council said.

Continued at source: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-41549235

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US-style abortion battles loom in UK amid claims of intimidation

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US-style abortion battles loom in UK amid claims of intimidation
As street tensions increase, pro-choice group says a London council must curb ‘harassment’ of women at Marie Stopes clinic

Jo Griffin
Saturday 7 October 2017

A London council will decide on Tuesday whether to pursue a public space protection order to prevent the harassment and intimidation of women accessing abortion services at the Marie Stopes clinic in Ealing, west London.

In the first case of its kind, Ealing council will debate the move after a petition from local pro-choice group, Sister Supporter, which demanded action to stop anti-abortion protesters holding vigils six days a week outside the clinic and approaching patients.

Continued at source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/07/us-abortion-uk-intimidation-london-marie-stopes

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UK: Government urged to tackle anti-abortion protests in UK after women are confronted outside clinics

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Government urged to tackle anti-abortion protests in UK after women are confronted outside clinics

Some women have been reduced to tears, while others have decided not to enter the clinic after being confronted by a barrage of abuse, campaigners say

May Bulman Social Affairs Correspondent
Oct 6, 2017

The Government is being urged to change legislation amid rising concern over anti-abortion “vigils” confronting women outside abortion clinics across the UK.

Women entering clinics to access abortion services or pregnancy and family planning advice are being confronted with large images of foetuses and pro-life campaigners urging them to change their minds, often wielding large images of foetuses.

Continued: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/abortion-uk-protests-government-urged-change-laws-clinics-vigils-a7984601.html

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