Abortion: Clinics

Home Office written question – answered on 21st July 2022.

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Photo of Lord Kennedy of Southwark Lord Kennedy of Southwark Shadow Chief Whip (Lords), Deputy Chairman of Committees

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the (1) use of buffer zones outside abortion clinics, and (2) reports from women and girls who have attended such clinics in the UK that they were intimidated and harassed on arrival.

Photo of Baroness Williams of Trafford Baroness Williams of Trafford The Minister of State, Home Department

The Home Office takes the matter of protests outside abortion clinics extremely seriously and recognises the adverse impact that such protests can have on patients and staff. It is completely unacceptable that anyone should feel harassed or intimidated simply for exercising their legal right to healthcare advice and treatment.

We have conducted extensive reviews into these protests, which has included reviewing evidence from those directly affected, with the impact on women being at the centre of our consideration. We continue to welcome any new evidence on this important and sensitive issue, as we keep this matter under review.

We believe that managing harmful protests requires a locally driven response and that the police and local authorities have the necessary powers to provide this. Public Spaces Protection Orders have been implemented successfully to restrict harmful protests in Ealing, Richmond, and Manchester.

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