World leaders better start taking notes, because British MPs have voted in favour of banning pro-life rallies from outside abortion clinics. The bill was originally raised by Labour MP for Ealing Central and Action Rupa Huq, passing first stage voting with 213 in favour and 47 against.
The motion introduces a 300 metre ‘safe zone’ around all abortion clinics and gives police the authority to intervene in any demonstrations.
British Parliament have made the massive decision to ban anti-abortion protests from occurring within a 300 metre radius of all clinics. The bill was passed to allow women a safe environment in which to access healthcare.
“This is a national problem that requires a national solution,” Huq told the BBC. “This bill would have them (protesters) moved away from the clinic gates of all abortion facilities so they can stop the emotional blackmail of calling women approaching ‘mum’, lining the pavement with gruesome foetus dolls and images, and filming women to shame them.”
British councils are currently allowed to impose buffer zones within their own jurisdiction, however this independent system has proven to be an ineffective, and sometimes traumatic, alternative. Huq noted that a national bill would significantly ease the tensions already placed on local councils.
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) have taken to social media in support of the Parliament’s motion. “Great to see such support for women being able to access healthcare without fear of harassment or intimidation.”
“In the last two years, 46 clinics in England and Wales have had protests outside. Women and healthcare professionals need help. We need a new law…This isn’t a problem that’s going away.” The BPAS has also reported that five of these clinics have seen protests in the last month, despite ongoing coronavirus restrictions.
Out of the 46 clinics that have experienced protests since September 2018, only two have buffer zones. It’s incredibly difficult to get them in place – and these two are down to the hard work of local groups @SisterSupporter and @ReclaimRosslyn. They need MPs’ support. #BackOff
— bpas (@bpas1968) June 23, 2020