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Letter to The Times about clinic buffer zones

ANTI-ABORTION ACTIVISTS

Sir, All women should be able to access legal abortion services free from harassment and intimidation (“NHS backed anti-abortionists”, Oct 3). The behaviour of anti-abortion extremists outside UK clinics is unacceptable, as evidence broadcast in Channel 4’s Dispatches confirms. We cannot simply look on as these groups become increasingly emboldened because the police are unable to act. The vast majority of the public are pro-choice, and those who seek to demonise women grappling with hard decisions are few in number. However, they can cause misery and, in the worst cases, deliberately risk women’s health with lies and misinformation. We urge the home secretary to establish buffer zones outside clinics before this situation escalates any further.

Ann Furedi, Chief Executive, British Pregnancy Advisory Service; Polly Neate, Chief Executive, Women’s Aid; Professor Lesley Regan, President, Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists; Justine Roberts, Founder, Mumsnet; Sam Smethers, Chief Executive, Fawcett Society; Natika H Halil, Chief Executive, FPA; Vivienne Hayes, Women’s Resource Centre; Pavan Dhaliwal, Director of Public Affairs and Policy, British Humanist Association; Marai Larasi, Executive Director, Imkaan; Sarah Green, End Violence Against Women; Professor Lesley Regan, President, Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists; Dr Asha Kasliwal, President, Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare; Dr Kate Guthrie, Co-Chair, British Society of Abortion Care Providers; Professor Cathy Warwick, Chief Executive, Royal College of Midwives; Ros Bragg, Director, Maternity Action; Dawn Thomas, Co-Chair, Rape Crisis England and Wales; Dianne Whitfield, Co-Chair, Rape Crisis England and Wales

ENDS

About bpas:

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