Anger at speed of progress on buffer zones at abortion clinics

Sept 27, 2023
By Craig Williams, BBC Scotland

Pro-choice activists are calling on MSPs to speed up the creation of buffer zones around Scotland's abortion clinics.

The Scottish government is backing a bill which would ban anti-abortion groups from gathering outside clinics.

But campaigners for buffer zones say Scotland is being left behind the rest of the UK.


UK – Inside the anti-abortion protests plaguing clinics amid buffer zone delays

Anti-abortion protests and calls to the police have ramped up since so-called buffer zones were voted in, writes Maya Oppenheim

Sept 16, 2023
Maya Oppenheim

Standing outside a Chinese takeaway plastered with funfair adverts in south London, two women can be seen clutching pink and blue plastic rosary beads as they solemnly recite prayers under their breath. In front of them, a framed print of Mary, the mother of Jesus, is strapped to an easel next to a sign which reads “Love them both” and a photo of a smiling baby.

“Pregnant, Need Help?” another poster reads. “Housing Help, Financial support, Moral support offered here, Just ask us or call 0800 096 2518”. The women have set up camp opposite an abortion clinic in Brixton to protest against terminations being legal in the UK. Across a busy road, another member of their group stands directly outside the clinic clasping leaflets to hand to those going inside.


UK – Home Office delay on abortion clinic buffer zones leaves council to act alone

Manchester extends own measures to prevent women from being harassed after legislation delays

Tobi Thomas
Fri 15 Sep 2023

Manchester city council has decided to extend its own measures for preventing women from being harassed when visiting abortion clinics due to delays in government legislation on buffer zones coming into effect.

The Public Order Act, which received royal assent in May, included an amendment which makes it a criminal offence across England and Wales to harass, obstruct or interfere with any woman attending an abortion clinic.

Protesters found guilty of breaching the buffer zones – which would extend 150 metres from the clinics – could be prosecuted and face a fine. Before the amendment passed earlier this year, local councils had taken their own measures to prevent the intimidation and harassment of women visiting abortion clinics.


Abortion clinic ‘buffer zone’ bill lodged in Scottish Parliament

June 15, 2023

A bill designed to end protests outside abortion clinics has been lodged at the Scottish Parliament.

Green MSP Gillian Mackay has submitted the proposal, with the first vote expected in October.

The members' bill aims to create 150-metre (164 yard) "safe access" zones around facilities which carry out abortions and other health services.


Scotland – Anti-abortion group leader: Government has no duty to protect public’s feelings

June 04, 2023

The Scottish Government does not have a duty to protect the feelings of the public, the head of an anti-abortion group has said.

Shawn Carney, the co-founder and chief executive of 40 Days for Life, rejected accusations his group had harassed women attempting to access abortions.

Scottish Green MSP Gillian Mackay is expected to publish a widely supported Bill this month to establish buffer zones around abortion clinics, which is expected to pass Holyrood without issue.


Scotland – Green MSP looking to speed up buffer zones bill as abortion protests intensify

Apr 3, 2023
By Steph Brawn

GILLIAN Mackay has said she will be looking to speed up progress on her Safe Access Zones Bill after "sickening" harassment of patients and staff at a Glasgow clinic offering abortions.

The Green MSP has insisted intimidation from protesters at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital must be brought to an end.


‘If we can do it, you can do it’: US anti-abortion groups ramp up activities in UK

Emboldened by victories at home, some of the most prominent American anti-abortion groups are exporting their tactics overseas

Katherine Stewart
Sun 2 Apr 2023

Anti-abortion groups are stepping up efforts to spread US-style abortion politics to the UK, ramping up spending with the ambition of shaking up political life beyond American borders.

Fresh off their historic victory in bringing about the end of the constitutional right to abortion in the US, these groups are importing familiar tactics, including public protests and demonstrations, anti-abortion counseling centers or so-called “crisis pregnancy centers”, and the cultivation of ties with clerical leaders.


Anti-abortion protesters outnumbered by pro-choice signs at Glasgow hospital

The metres-long display of around 200 cardboard signs were arranged by LGBTQ+ protest group Cabaret Against The Hate Speech (CATHS).

By Jon Brady
2 APR 2023

Pro-choice campaigners have pre-empted a group of anti-abortion protesters on their final day of action outside a Glasgow maternity unit with a huge display of posters.

The metres-long display of around 200 cardboard signs, bearing messages such as "bans don't stop abortions - they stop safe abortions" and "my rights, my body, my choice", were arranged by LGBTQ+ protest group Cabaret Against The Hate Speech (CATHS). They were put up before members of 40 Days for Life arrived outside the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital on Sunday for the last of 40 days of anti-choice action.


German abortion clinics targeted by US-style protests

Protests outside abortion clinics and family planning centers are underway in Germany. Reproductive rights advocates point to the influence of US money and tactics on the anti-abortion movement in Germany and Europe.

Helen Whittle
Mar 4, 2023

In the early afternoon on a gray and windy Friday in February, a dozen protesters from EuroProLife slowly began to appear opposite the Pro Familia family planning advice and counseling center in Frankfurt's Westend.

Clutching hymn sheets and rosaries, they chanted the Hail Mary prayer. Some held placards bearing images of smiling babies or a tiny clenched fist with the slogans "Unborn Lives Matter" and "Abortion Is Not a Solution."


Germany’s coalition intends to liberalise abortion legislation

Abortion opponents want to protest for 40 days in front of abortion clinics. Germany’s Family minister wants to stop this and secure access to abortion counselling by law.


Every year, the action group ’40 days for life’ organises protests across Europe around Lent. This year is no different in Germany. The demonstrations, modelled on the similar-named international Christian movement from the United States, aim to close down abortion centres through vigils, prayer and fasting.

The actions come as the centre-left German coalition government moves forward with its plans to decriminalise abortion — a plan set out at the beginning of its term. Family Minister Lisa Paus announced a law to give pregnant women who want to have an abortion unrestricted access to relevant counselling centres and medical practices. “Women must have unimpeded access to counselling centres and facilities that carry out abortions,” Paus told the editorial network Germany (RND). “Vigils in front of these institutions are border crossings and unacceptable interference in women’s highly personal decisions. The federal government will counteract this with legal measures.”