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Council votes to ban abortion protesters outside clinic

Council votes to ban abortion protesters outside clinic

Ealing councillors have voted unanimously to approve a ‘safe zone’ to shield women from demonstrators at a centre run by the charity Marie Stopes.

In doing so, the council has become the first in the UK to ban anti-abortion campaigners from protesting outside a clinic, according to the Independent.

The decision follows complaints that women using the west London centre were being harassed and intimidated by anti-abortion protesters, some brandishing large images of foetuses and shouting “murderers”.

Ealing’s three-year Public Spaces Protection Order bans groups congregating within 100 metres of the clinic, which carries out about 7,000 abortions a year. Demonstrators are also prohibited from shouting, displaying posters and playing recordings about abortion in the area. Anyone who breaches the order can be arrested and charged.

Pro-choice campaigners hailed the council’s “landmark decision”, which they hope will pave the way for authorities elsewhere in the country to implement similar measures.

Richard Bentley, managing director at Marie Stopes UK, said:

We are incredibly grateful to Ealing Council for recognising the emotional distress that these groups create, and for taking proportionate action to protect the privacy and dignity of women accessing our clinic in the borough.

This was never about protest. It was about small groups of strangers choosing to gather by our entrance gates where they could harass and intimidate women and try to prevent them from accessing healthcare to which they are legally entitled.

Ealing Council has sent a clear message that this kind of behaviour should not be tolerated, and that these groups have no justification for trying to involve themselves in one of the most personal decisions a woman can make.

Pro-choice and anti-abortion campaigners each spoke before the vote an Ealing Council cabinet meeting.

Councillors considered months of evidence on events outside the clinic, as well as statements from women who used the centre and campaigners on both sides.

John Hansen-Brevetti, above, clinical operations manager at the clinic on Mattock Lane, said protestors had told some pregnant women the ghost of their foetus would haunt them. On other occasions, they cried ”mummy mummy don’t kill me” and threw holy water at women as they entered the clinic.

He added that “pavement counsellors” were outside the clinic every day, approaching every client on the way in and out.

That’s how we know that this isn’t just about providing information, however inaccurate that information might be, this is about making people feel shame and fear for the decision they’ve made.

People come into our consultation rooms crying and shaking, sometimes we have to wait to take their blood pressure because they’re so anxious having been through that.

Anna Veglio-White, a co-founder of local pro-choice campaign group Sister Supporter, said she had seen anti-abortion protestors misdirect women away from the clinic so they miss their appointments and follow them to their cars to jam leaflets through the windows.

Sister Supporter’s counter protesters has been coming to the clinic every Saturday since Easter last year to try to create a “human shield” to protect the women.

15 responses to “Council votes to ban abortion protesters outside clinic”

  1. L.Long says:

    Have you noticed that the main protesters of abortions never have to worry about getting an abortions? Ya know ahole dirty old men, and women too ugly to get sex? Ya! Its mean to say such, but look at the two pictures and show where I’m wrong? I still say anti-abortion is about jealousy of and hate of women! And the old fart’s picture (any or them) is 99% a lie! Most abortions do not involve a heart beat or a fully developed human form.

  2. barriejohn says:

    The woman in the top photo looks like The Abominable Dr Phibes!

    Note: Senator Bob Nonini does NOT support the death penalty for women who have abortions (that’s what he’s saying now, anyway).

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/bob-nonini-republican-idaho-abortion-women-death-penalty-a8294716.html

  3. Ate Berga says:

    https://youtu.be/4NNpkv3Us1I

    Must watch John Oliver (HBO) regarding CPC. Crisis Pregnancy Centers.
    Shameful behavior by pro-live toons.

  4. AgentCormac says:

    They all look worryingly like zombies to me. And if that’s what’s going on on the outside, you can only imagine what’s going on on the inside.

  5. Stephen Mynett says:

    I have seen some of the propaganda these twerps put out and many of the pictures are obviously photo-shopped or in some cases are of late miscarriages.

    I sometimes wonder how many of the people pushing this stuff realise they are using fake “evidence” or whether they know and are happy to lie for their cause.

  6. Robster says:

    It would perhaps be more effective to put barbed wire fences around the local religious outposts. That way, all the deluded could stew together while innocent women go about their business unmolested. Unlike children in their churches.

  7. barriejohn says:

    Here’s a nauseating update – far more upsetting than those gory pictures:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-43733691/anti-abortion-campaigner-we-will-continue-to-hold-vigils

    “We will continue to offer help from there…”

    What the fuck is the deluded cow talking about? Is there no limit to their hypocrisy? They make me angry.

  8. Broga says:

    Meanwhile the good Christian Trump, and equally good Christian Mrs May, are contributing to blowing up the planet. Don’t these nutters have a more appropriate place to stand in smug, self righteous, deluded misery – known as a vigil to them.

    The human species, besotted by religious delusions, has been working on its own suicide for a very long time. Now: we are running out of water and much of the stuff we have got is polluted with plastic; other species on which we depend are going extinct; the very air we breathe is harmful; we continue to breed on a planet that cannot cope with the current numbers etc. etc.

    I note that Papa, strong advocate against contraception, is having to admit he wrongly defended one of his paedophile bishops.

  9. Laura Roberts says:

    @StephenMynett: “they know and are happy to lie for their cause”

    That hits the nail on the head. In this case, maybe they know and maybe they don’t, but they will always be happy to lie for their causes. We see it with abortion, creationism, the historicity of the Bible, the existence of a god, deathbed conversions and so on. All to avoid the horror of admitting that one just might be wrong.

  10. Broga says:

    They are never prepared to follow their own beliefs and leave the rest of us to do what we want. Oh no, they must attempt to impose their beliefs on the rest of us.

    Rational argument, moderation, change of mind must never occur and so debate is impossible with them. They don’t twist facts, they just ignore them.

  11. barriejohn says:

    Good news. Other authorities are planning to follow suit:

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/more-curbs-planned-on-abortion-protests-nfcrhqzlm

    PS I’ve just read on another site that this action “criminalises prayer”! Since when was there a requirement to be within 100m of the object of your prayers? Which Bible are they reading?

  12. Broga says:

    barriejohn : They don’t need this to criminalise prayer. It is criminal already in that it deludes the foolish to believe in a fictional being. With all the consequences.

  13. Gaurav Tyagi says:

    @barriejohn, you are right. May visiting the so called temple of these ‘sick’ Sikhs amounts to religious appeasement to get votes. Typical politicians’s behaviour.

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