We welcome the Home Secretary’s commitment to announcing the result of the Home Office anti-abortion clinic protests consultation in September. We know that hundreds of women and clinic staff made submissions, some of whom reported being followed, filmed, and reduced to tears while seeking to access and provide legal healthcare. This cannot be allowed to continue.
The buffer zone established in Ealing by the local council has demonstrated that such a measure is effective and lawful, protecting women from distress on what can already be a very difficult day while respecting individual’s right to freedom of speech. However, we are concerned that few other councils will feel able to dedicate the same level of time and resources in order to implement local buffer zones, which is why we continue to call for central government action.
There are over 40 anti-abortion clinic protests across the UK. This is a national problem in need of a national solution. We urge the Home Secretary to listen to the voices of women and healthcare professionals and set out a clear government plan to tackle this growing problem as soon as possible in September.
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Notes to Editors:
bpas is a charity which sees more than 70,000 women a year and provides reproductive healthcare services including pregnancy counselling, abortion care, miscarriage management and contraception, at clinics across the UK. It supports and advocates for reproductive choice. More information can be found at bpas.org.