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Ask your MP to oppose buffer zones around abortion clinics


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As the Public Order Bill made its way through the House of Commons, a clause was added to introduce mandatory buffer zones around all abortion facilities across England and Wales. This clause has since been further amended in the House of Lords but the most concerning harms still very much remain.

This clause is due to be debated and voted on in the House of Commons on Tuesday 7 March, when MPs will consider the amendments made in the House of Lords.

Buffer zones (also known as ‘censorship’ or ‘safe access’ zones) would effectively ban and criminalise volunteers from peacefully praying and offering support to women entering abortion clinics. However, hundreds of women have been helped by pro-life vigils, and current laws already protect women if they face harassment.

If made law, not only would it criminalise anyone within 150 metres of an abortion clinic who offers a woman practical, emotional, or financial support in order for her to be able to continue her pregnancy, but it would also criminalise anyone who is “influencing” a woman’s decision, which could even include activities like silent prayer. Under these plans, a person guilty of this offence would be subject to an unlimited fine.

The Government has already considered this issue in depth, concluding in 2018 that “introducing national buffer zones would not be a proportionate response, considering the experiences of the majority of hospitals and clinics, and considering that the majority of activities are more passive in nature”.  

As recently as June 2022, the then Home Office Minister Kit Malthouse pointed out that laws already exist to protect women if they face actual harassment or intimidation

This proposed law is also radically out of step with the opinions of the general public. A poll from Savanta ComRes showed that only 21% of the population support the introduction of nationwide ‘buffer zones’ around every abortion clinic. 

Please enter your postcode in the box above to write to your MP asking them to oppose the introduction of buffer zones and protect free expression for those who are pro-life. 

Side image Ask your MP to oppose buffer zones around abortion clinics

Ask your MP to oppose buffer zones around abortion clinics