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On Tuesday 18 October 2022, the House of Commons approved an amendment (NC11) to the Public Order Bill to introduce buffer zones outside abortion clinics, by a vote of 297 in support and 110 against. The amendment was initially tabled by recently-suspended Rupa Huq MP, with Stella Creasy MP taking over as the amendment’s sponsor at the eleventh hour.
In its current form, the amendment could criminalise anyone within 150 metres of an abortion clinic who offered a woman practical, emotional, or financial support in order to be able to continue her pregnancy, if she were unsure about her decision. However, hundreds of women have been helped by volunteers handing out leaflets in front of abortion clinics, and current laws already protect women if they face harassment.
The Public Order Bill is now en route to the House of Lords. Should the Lords pass it in its current form, buffer zones will be introduced around abortion clinics nationwide and anyone outside a clinic who “seeks to influence” or expresses an opinion could be liable, in the first instance, to a prison sentence of up to 6 months and/or an unlimited fine, and on further instances, up to 2 years’ imprisonment.
Please write to your MP regarding their vote on Stella Creasy’s buffer zones amendment. We have drafted an email in which you can thank your MP for voting against the amendment, express disappointment if your MP voted for the amendment, or encourage your MP to vote in the future if they abstained from the vote. All you need to do is enter your postcode and then provide your contact details using an easy-to-fill-in form.
Please enter your postcode in the box above to find out how your MP voted and write to them to give them feedback following the vote.
Find out if your MP voted for buffer zones and give them feedback