Clare Murphy, Director of External Affairs at bpas, said:
“For years, the government has refused to acknowledge the distress caused by anti-abortion protests. Finally it has been recognised that these activities can have a profoundly negative impact on women seeking healthcare, and a tenth of abortion clinics and hospitals in England have been affected in this way. We hope that the many women and healthcare professionals who submitted evidence to this consultation feel that their voices have been heard.
“As the Minister states, Ealing Council’s buffer zone has proved effective at reducing the harassment and intimidation outside their abortion clinic. We will now look to work with councils to roll out this model across the country to protect women and staff in clinics affected by protests. However, we are very clear that if the remedies suggested by the Home Secretary, including council-led Public Space Protection Orders and guidance from police, do not prove effective, we will look again at pursuing the national legislation that we still believe would be the best way to deal with this issue.”
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Notes to Editors
Full statement: https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2018-09-13/HCWS958/
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.