Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Digest: London borough launches consultation on anti-abortion protest ban

  • 1 Comment

Ealing LBC has launched a consultation on a possible public spaces protection order (PSPO) outside an abortion clinic.

The council is asking for views on a proposed ‘safe zone’ outside the Marie Stopes clinic. This is aimed at stopping women visiting the clinic being harassed and intimidated, while it is also hoped the order will improve the quality of life for residents living nearby.

PSPOs provide councils with powers to criminalise certain behaviours in a specific area.

Ealing was the first council to vote in support of preventing protesters from standing near the clinic and reportedly distressing women who want to enter.

The council voted at a full meeting on 10 October last year to “take all necessary actions within its powers… to prevent anti-abortion protesters from intimidating and harassing women”.

Other councils to have followed Ealing in voting against anti-abortion protest include Manchester City, Portsmouth, Southwark, Lambeth and Richmond.

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • If there has been harassment the police already have powers to deal with this. Intimidation is a bit more subjective. PSPOs provide extremely broad powers for regulating the ‘quality of life’ of the community. There is real danger that if these are misused they will damage everyone's right to peaceful protest and freedom of expression (regardless of the issue of protest - whether it's bankers, nuclear missiles or ending the life of unborn children).


    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.