Pro-life protestors face new laws
A council in London has become the first in the UK to set up an exclusion zone outside abortion clinics in its district to stop pro-life demonstrators from harassing women using its services.
Ealing Council has been the recipient of praise from around the country, with MP’s and members of the public reacting positively, in what is seen as a progressive step towards protecting vulnerable women from harassment.
The Marie Stopes clinic in Mattock Lane, Ealing, is now protected by a 100 metre exclusion zone meaning that protestors entering this zone could face a fine or even prosecution.
The move was praised by Sadiq Khan, the London Mayor, as a step in the right direction and there are now other councils in Plymouth and Birmingham who have said to be considering similar steps after announcing public consultations.
There has also been consideration by the government for introducing the zones across the country, with Home Secretary Amber Rudd saying "While everyone has a right to peaceful protest, it is completely unacceptable that anyone should feel harassed or intimidated simply for exercising their legal right to healthcare advice and treatment."
It’s a sentiment that’s difficult to argue with, as the Ealing clinic has been recording incidents for years. Sky News reported that on one occasion, in January 2017, staff noted that protesters told a client she would "be haunted by her baby" and that "God will punish you" if she had an abortion.
Another entry, from April that same year, noted: "Client very tearful after being called a murderer as she walked into the clinic."
The council were called to action when a group of Ealing residents formed a volunteer group which sought to protect women by making a buffer zone. The group, called Sister Support, had lobbied the council for more help. Founder of the group Anna Veglio-White told Sky News: "We're not a pro-abortion group, we're not an anti-abortion group, we're an anti-harassment group. And this is about women being stopped whilst accessing a legal healthcare facility."
Through reading a number of investigative pieces regarding pro-life movements it’s genuinely difficult to find anybody within them who has ever adopted a baby that wasn’t wanted by their natural mother or father. Similarly, the pro-life movements are often associated with conservative politics, meaning that once babies are born unwanted into poverty the groups then actively campaign for them to receive no government support, thus dooming them to a life of misery and crime, before then complaining about crime rates.
Given the trauma and sadness involved in any sort of termination, it’s probably right and correct that the authorities intervene to prevent local odd balls from making things worse.