April 5, 2022
By Eleanor J. Bader
“ABORTION IS ABOUT someone’s future, their dreams, their lives,” Lauren Rankin writes in Bodies on the Line: At the Front Lines to Protect Abortion in America (Counterpoint Press). “When abortion is reduced to a mere political fight, we miss this, and we miss the very real stakes when access is denied.”
Those stakes, of course, have been enormous, with access to abortion limited by legal restrictions such as parental consent and notification requirements for minors; mandates that separate counseling from the actual procedure; and by the denial of insurance coverage by Medicaid and other plans. In addition, protests outside clinic doors have been ubiquitous for nearly five decades. In fact, picketers typically accost patients — often screaming at them as they thrust photos of bloody fetal parts in their faces — in an effort to dissuade them from ending their pregnancies. What’s more, anti-abortion violence, including the murder of 11 doctors and escorts since 1993, has had a chilling impact on the number of available providers.
Decision to ban protests at London abortion clinic upheld
Campaigners lose high court challenge over protest-free buffer zone at clinic in Ealing
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.
Abortion clinic 'safe access' zones set to shake up a quiet Albury street as NSW bill passes
By Erin Somerville
June 7, 2018
Albury's Englehardt Street may appear to be a quiet place, but over the years it has been the backdrop of a major local battle that's helped shape the NSW new 'safe access' laws.
The New South Wales Government's move last night to pass laws rolling out a 150 metre safe access zone
that will move the protesters on is expected to be profoundly felt on this street.
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
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.
GREAT BRITAIN – Documenting the harassment of anti-abortion protests
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Mar 2, 2018
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (Bpas) is a charity that offers abortion care, contraception, STI testing, miscarriage management, and pregnancy counselling to nearly 80,000 women each year via clinics in England, Wales, and Scotland. As part of their advocacy work, they have been running the Back Off campaign to introduce legal buffer zones around abortion clinics and pregnancy advisory bureaux since 2014, based on evidence collected from their clients that protests outside clinics are distressing and intimidating. Their work with Rupa Huq, a Member of Parliament, led to the establishment of a government review into protests outside abortion clinics, to which they wrote an in-depth response.
In the last 12 months, 18 of their 70 clinics have been affected by anti-abortion protests, including:
New laws needed to protect abortion clinic workers
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.
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.
How UK anti-abortion activists use American tactics to shock and shame women
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
'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
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
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