UK – Anti-abortion activists ramping up protests outside clinics after failure to introduce buffer zones

Exclusive: ‘They also hand out baby toys whose limbs have been removed which are covered in fake blood. They sometimes spit from their mouths at clients,’ says clinic manager

Maya Oppenheim, Women’s Correspondent

May 4, 2024

Anti-abortion activists are ramping up protests outside clinics in the wake of the government’s failure to introduce “buffer zones” outside medical centres, healthcare providers have warned.

MPs voted in favour of nationwide buffer zones outside abortion clinics in England and Wales in October 2022 but the Home Office has failed to roll them out. MSI Reproductive Choices, the UK’s leading abortion provider, called for the government to bring in the safe zones immediately. They are supposed to stop anti-abortion demonstrators standing outside or in close vicinity.


UK – Female students ‘fear for their safety’ as anti-abortion society set up by three men

Over 15,000 people have signed a petition voicing concerns about the new society, which has been allowed to exist due to freedom of speech laws

Athena Stavrou
Feb 19, 2024

Female students at the University of Manchester say they are “fearing for their safety” after an all-male committee set up a pro-life society.

Over 15,000 people have signed a petition voicing concerns about the group, which has been allowed to form due to freedom of speech laws.


Scotland – Abortion clinic buffer zone law needed ‘quickly’ – Gray

Feb 14, 2024

A law to ensure buffer zones around abortion clinics is needed "quickly", the health secretary has said.

Neil Gray described protests from anti abortion groups outside medical facilities as "unacceptable". Mr Gray was speaking at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) in Glasgow, one of several sites targeted by the 40 Days for Life pro-life group.


Creasy accuses anti-abortion activists of ‘persistent’ personal harassment

Exclusive: ‘Some of the commentary is all about me being held to account by a god, and having my day in hell,’ MP says

Maya Oppenheim
Feb 11, 2024

US-funded anti-abortion activists have begun a crusade of harassment against high-profile Labour campaigner Stella Creasy, targeting her in a “persistent and sustained” pattern, accusing her of “killing babies”.

Speaking to The Independent in an exclusive interview, Stella Creasy said she is facing “a bonfire of abuse” from anti-abortion ideologues on social media in punishment for campaigning on abortion rights.

The Labour MP for Walthamstow said protesters have harassed nearby residents and leafletted her constituency with graphic imagery.


Germany tries to stop pro-life demonstrators harassing women seeking abortions

Protestors at a demonstration against the US Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in front of the Brandenburg Gate near the US embassy in Berlin in July 2022.

By Giulia Carbonaro

As the number of pro-life vigils in front of Germany’s family planning centres and clinics grows, the country is trying to prevent these places from becoming the stage of a US-style war for abortion rights.

It was March 2017 when Claudia Hohmann, director of the Pro Familia family planning centre in Frankfurt, saw anti-abortion demonstrators show up with signs and flyers outside the door of her workplace for the very first time.


Brittany Watts, Ohio woman charged with felony after miscarriage at home, describes shock of her arrest

by Jericka Duncan, Rachel Bailey, Cassandra Gauthier and Hilary Cook
January 26, 2024
Video interview: 10 minutes

When Brittany Watts woke up at her Warren, Ohio, home on Sept. 22, 2023, she knew she was miscarrying.

Her 22-week-old fetus had been declared nonviable by doctors several days prior. Bleeding and in pain, she spent a total of 19 hours in the hospital over a span of two days, begging to be induced.
But an ethics group at Mercy Health - St. Joseph Warren Hospital had concerns about Ohio's abortion laws and how they applied to Watts' case, ultimately resulting in hours of delayed care.


Religious exemptions to abortion buffer zones law could ‘overturn will of Parliament’

18 January, 2024
Humanists UK

The UK Government has proposed draft guidance for Abortion Safe Access Zones that would effectively overturn the will of Parliament through expansive religious loopholes which would render the legislation incapable of protecting women from abuse and harassment.

In 2022 and 2023, in a resolute response to escalating harassment of women at the hands of evangelical protesters outside abortion clinics, the UK Parliament voted overwhelmingly to establish Safe Access Zones around abortion clinics in England and Wales. These zones were expressly intended to protect women from a barrage of bullying and psychological abuse as they sought access to clinics, ensuring their right to medical care in a safe and dignified environment.


I hadn’t broken Poland’s abortion laws – so why did the police raid my flat?

Artist was humiliated by the authorities and lambasted by the press after terminating a pregnancy, but refuses to be silenced

As told to Weronika Strzyżyńska
Wed 27 Dec 2023

In May, I made the decision to take abortion pills to end a pregnancy. I wasn’t scared. I’ve been involved in LGBTQ+ and pro-choice activism in Poland for years, I know my rights and knew I wasn’t breaking the law. Though Poland’s abortion law is strict, terminating your own pregnancy is not illegal. So, like thousands of Polish women every year, I ordered the medication online from Women Help Women, a secure source abroad.

One night, two weeks after I’d taken the pills, I was at home when suddenly there was a loud banging on my front door and shouts of “police!”.


Abortion: Pro-choice Forces in Brazil Are Being Threatened by Christian Radicals and the Ultra-right

DECEMBER 10, 2023

Brazil’s Supreme Court has postponed a debate on decriminalizing early-term abortion, leading feminists and rights advocates to warn that the justices will be responsible for the deaths of more women and girls in the country.

Abortion in the country is punishable by up to three years in prison, and is allowed on only three grounds: rape, risk to the life of the pregnant person, and – following a 2012 Supreme Court decision – when the fetus suffers anencephaly, a fatal birth defect.


Scotland – Kate Forbes accused of ‘ignorant’ comments after defending silent prayer near abortion clinics

The Highlands MSP and former SNP finance secretary was criticised by buffer zone campaign group Back off Scotland.

by Alasdair Clark
November 26 2023

Campaigners have accused SNP MSP Kate Forbes of making “ignorant comments” after she defended silent prayer outside of abortion clinics.

Ms Forbes shared her views on the upcoming Holyrood legislation which could see buffer zones imposed around clinics.

If backed by MSPs, the bill would prevent protest within 200 metres of medical facilities.