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.


Scotland – Buffer zones required outside abortion clinics to stop women suffering

It is time for the Scottish Government to approve the legislation for legally enforced zones, says Record View.

5 Feb 2024

The legalisation of abortion in the UK in 1967 was a landmark moment.

It marked the culmination of decades of campaigning and allowed women to undergo the procedure through the NHS.

It ended the need for people to rely on unregulated and often dangerous private practitioners.


UK – MPs fear watering down of buffer zone rules at abortion clinics

A Labour and Tory MP will later appeal to the home secretary to rethink guidance that will still allow "silent prayer" and protesters to approach vulnerable women.

Serena Barker-Singh
Thursday 1 February 2024

Cross-party MPs will meet with the home secretary today to query the government's plans allowing protesters to engage in "silent prayer" and approach women with leaflets inside buffer zones around abortion clinics.

Despite MPs voting over a year ago to ban these activities, draft guidance released by the Home Office now appears to water down the laws, campaigners have said.


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.


Germany cracks down on ‘pro-life’ protests

Protests outside abortion clinics and family planning centers are to be banned in Germany. Reproductive rights advocates have long pointed to the influence of US money and tactics on the anti-abortion movement in Europe.

Helen Whittle
Jan 24, 2024

Family Minister Lisa Paus (Green Party) announced on January 24 a draft law to prevent demonstrators from approaching or harassing visitors within a 100-meter (320 ft) radius of abortion clinics and family planning centers. Posters or flyers aimed at intimidating women will also be banned. Anyone violating the ban could be punished with a fine of up to €5,000 ($5,445).

Paus said that it was important that women were able to receive good advice in such difficult situations without being confronted with "hatred and agitation." "That's why we are striking a balance between freedom of expression and the right of assembly," Paus told German public broadcaster ZDF.


UK – Bournemouth abortion clinic protesters lose prayer campaign case

15th December 2023

Christian campaigners have lost a legal challenge to an order banning prayers outside an abortion clinic.

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council imposed a "safe zone" in 2022 around the clinic in Bournemouth.

Campaigners Livia Tossici-Bolt and Christian Concern argued the Public Spaces Protection Order was illegal.

However, two High Court judges said any interference with human rights was justified by the "legitimate aim" of protecting the clinic's clients.


UK – Women still being harassed at abortion clinics despite buffer zone law

'Safe access zones’ entered law in England and Wales in May but Home Office has delayed implementing them

Denis Campbell
Wed 18 Oct 2023

Women using abortion clinics are still being harassed despite MPs voting a year ago to create buffer zones to stop protesters intimidating them, medical and abortion groups say.

Suella Braverman, the home secretary, has failed to “commence” the legislation to introduce buffer zones in England and Wales, even though parliament approved the move on 18 October last year.


Bill to ban protests at Scottish abortion centres published

Oct 6, 2023

A bill designed to stop protests outside Scotland's abortion clinics has been published at Holyrood. Green MSP Gillian Mackay's bill would set up "buffer zones" around the facilities, preventing people from gathering nearby.

It is likely to have cross-party support and is being backed by the Scottish government. Anti-abortion campaigners from the USA have said they will challenge any such law in the courts.


Northern Ireland – Abortion clinic buffer zones to start from Friday

Sept 25, 2023

Exclusion zones set up to block anti-abortion protests outside health clinics in Northern Ireland will be introduced on Friday. The "safe access zones," will be in areas across the five health trusts.

Legislation to set up the zones at clinics where abortions are carried out was passed at Stormont last year. The Department of Health said they are to "protect women and girls accessing abortion services, information, advice and counselling, and protect staff".


Scotland – Activists’ concern after abortion buffer zone group disbanded

May 3, 2023
By Morven Mckinnon, BBC Scotland News

Pro-choice activists have raised concerns after the Scottish government disbanded a working group on abortion buffer zones. Back Off Scotland, which wants curbs on protests near clinics, accused ministers of sitting "on their hands".

A members bill proposed by Scottish Green MSP Gillian Mackay would set up 150m "safe access" zones around sites.