Create protest-free zones outside abortion clinics, urge Midwives

A 100-metre exclusion zone came into force in April 2018.

Sarah Jane
22 August 2019
My Body My Choice

The Royal College of Midwives has called for protest-free ‘safe zones’ outside all UK abortion clinics.

The Court of Appeal has upheld a landmark ruling which mandates a protest-free zone outside an abortion clinic in London.

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A 100-metre exclusion zone came into force in April 2018 outside the Marie Stopes Clinic in Ealing, London after reports that women were being “distressed, harassed and intimidated” by “pro-life” campaigners.

Following an appeal, three High Court judges have upheld the decision preventing campaigners from approaching women using the clinic.

There is now increasing pressure from “pro-choice” campaigners for the Government to introduce a UK-wide exclusion zone outside every abortion clinic.

‘Blocked from accessing care’.

Ealing Council said action was taken in the interest of locals and has reduced conflict outside the clinic.

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Sally O’Brien, the clinics manager said that before the zone was introduced patients were regularly “harassed” and “blocked from accessing care”.

“As they leave they then call them mum and murderer, they then rebuke them as they are leaving the clinic and they chase them up the street.”

“Where they [pro-life campaigners] should not be is outside a healthcare clinic where a woman is accessing legal healthcare and preventing her from doing that, that’s what’s wrong.”

A ‘welcome’ decision.

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) says it “welcomes” the decision and emphasises the need for women to be able to make choices about their own body.

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Suzanne Tyler Executive Director for Services to Members at the RCM said;  “We need to trust and support women to make their own choices about their bodies and their own lives, which they have every right to do.

“Women should be entitled to access legal healthcare options without fear of being intimated or harassed. Furthermore, midwives and other abortion clinic staff do not deserve to be faced with protests on a daily basis as they attend work to care for women.

“We see todays ruling as another step in the right direction for the rights of women when it comes to this issue. The RCM believes it is now time for the Government to legislate for safe access zones outside all registered abortion care providers in the UK.”

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