WE ARE A MAGAZINE ABOUT LAW AND JUSTICE | AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO
April 17 2024
WE ARE A MAGAZINE ABOUT LAW AND JUSTICE | AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO
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Buffer zones to be imposed around abortion clinics

Buffer zones to be imposed around abortion clinics

MPs have voted in favour of an amendment to the Public Order Bill that would impose 150 metre buffer zones around abortion clinics. The amendment targets those who protest in the vicinity of abortion clinics, and was backed by the comments by a majority of 187 votes.

Labour’s Stella Creasy, who proposed the amendment, said the change would ‘not stop free speech on abortion. It does not stop people protesting’.

She told the House of Commons: ‘It simply says that you shouldn’t have a right to do that in the face of somebody – and very often these people are right up in front of people – at a point when they have made a decision.’ Under the proposed legislation protestors found guilty of breaching the buffer zones around clinics would face up to a six month custodial sentence.

Commenting on the amendment, the Chief Executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, Clare Murphy said:

‘We are delighted that today MPs have voted to protect women, protect healthcare staff, and establish buffer zones around abortion clinics in England and Wales.

At BPAS, we have been working tirelessly for almost a decade to end anti-abortion clinic harassment. Every year, around 100,000 women are treated by a clinic or hospital for an abortion that is targeted by anti-abortion protests. These groups attempt to deter or prevent women from accessing abortion care by displaying graphic images of foetuses, calling women ‘murderers’, and hanging baby clothing around clinic entrances, causing women significant distress. Today’s vote will bring an end to this activity.”

Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Women and Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch voted against the ammendment, alongside Jacob Rees-Mogg who has previously spoken out against a woman’s right to have an abortion.