Quick Exit (or press ESC)

One year on and still no safe access zones

  • In a week where safe access zones have passed overwhelmingly at Stage One in Holyrood and become law in the Oireachtas – England and Wales is still waiting for safe access zones to be implemented, a year on from the law passing.
  • Abortion clinics continue to be targeted by protesters, with women and staff experiencing harassment across the country
  • The Home Office undertook a public consultation late last year which was not only unnecessary, but could also be used as a means to water down the law to continue to allow activities such as silent prayer and protestor interaction with abortion clinic patients and staff.
  • The Home Office has previously said safe access zones would be implemented “no later than Spring 2024.” One year on from the law passing, we are still waiting for safe access zones to be implemented across England and Wales.  

Heidi Stewart, Chief Executive of BPAS, said:

“A year ago today, safe access zones around abortion clinics became law. It was the culmination of years of evidence-gathering, campaigning, and court cases finding that women had the right to be protected from harassment, alarm, and distress when accessing healthcare.  

“The government cannot continue to ignore the will of parliament. It’s not politicians that suffer from ongoing delays, it’s our women and it’s our staff.

“Since the law passed, fifteen clinics around the country have been targeted by anti-abortion groups, including by protesters wearing body cameras and a sign proclaiming “babies are murdered here”, groups of up to 30 protesters singing through loudspeakers, at least two clinics which have protesters outside every day they’re open, and one clinic where the protester entered the waiting room and refused to leave.

“No more excuses, no more delays. The government must act now and implement safe access zones across England and Wales so our staff can feel safe doing their jobs, and women can feel safe accessing essential healthcare.”




For further information, please contact the BPAS press office on press@bpas.org or 07985 351751.


About BPAS

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service, BPAS, is a charity that sees over 100,000 women a year for reproductive healthcare services including pregnancy counselling, abortion care, miscarriage management and contraception at clinics across Great Britain.

BPAS exists to further women’s reproductive choices. We believe all women should have the right to make their own decisions in and around pregnancy, from the contraception they use to avoid pregnancy right the way through to how they decide to feed their newborn baby, with access to evidence-based information to underpin their choices and high-quality services and support to exercise them.

BPAS also runs the Centre for Reproductive Research and Communication, CRRC. Through rigorous multidisciplinary research and impactful communication, the CRRC aims to inform policy, practice, and public discourse. You can find out more here.