Anti-abortion groups facing ban outside west London clinic | London

Anti-abortion protesters could be banned from standing outside a clinic after a ground-breaking vote decision by Ealing council.

Ealing Council voted overwhelmingly in favour of a motion to stop the anti-abortion groups from protesting outside a clinic in the west London borough.

Councillor Binda Rai told a council meeting it was about “a woman’s right to access legal healthcare” at the Marie Stopes Clinic on Mattock Lane “without intimidation or harassment”.

Speaking afterwards, she said there was cross-party support for the motion which will lead to the council looking at options, followed by a consultation period.

She said one of the options would be a Public Space Protection Order which would ban anti-abortion groups from standing outside the clinic.

The councillor said there could be “national implications”, as she said Ealing Council is the first council to have this debate, adding that it could be the first local authority to actively take action to address the issue.

The council motion said 3,593 residents signed the petition, adding that dozens of letters were written by local residents who spoke of a “detrimental effect on (their) quality of life” as a result of the disruption and distress caused by the protesters.

This ground-breaking move by Ealing Council sets a national precedent for ending the harassment of women using legal healthcare services. We hope that other local authorities will follow this example and act to increase protection for women in their area.

– Richard Bentley, managing director at Marie Stopes UK

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