Pin It
sister supporter
Courtesy Sister Supporter

Anti-abortion protestors could soon be banned from UK clinics

MPs have voted for a 150-metre buffer zone to be placed around abortion clinics

At a time when women’s rights seem to be regressing around the world, a landmark law has been proposed in the UK which will restrict anyone who attempts to harass or interfere with women seeking an abortion.

The new legislation, which was approved by MPs yesterday (October 18), will stop anti-abortion protestors from coming within a 150-metre buffer zone around abortion clinics in the UK. The ban would also stop protestors from using any graphic anti-abortion materials in or around the clinics. If the law passes, anyone seen to be infringing on these buffer zones could potentially face up to six months in prison. 

A cross-party group of MPs voted 297 to 110 in favour of the amendment last night, but there are still a few more stages to pass through before the bill is fully enacted. Although some (Tory) MPs argued that the proposed law would impede on free speech rights, Labour MP Stella Creasy came out in its defence, saying that there was nobody “praying outside the places you get a hip operation”, and emphasising the point that abortion clinics are unfairly targeted by protestors.

Unsurprisingly, Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Tory cabinet ministers Jacob Rees-Mogg and Kemi Badenoch voted against passing the legislation, falling in line with their often outdated and unempathetic views on important social issues (both Rees-Mogg and Braverman have repeatedly voted against LGBTQ+ rights, renters rights, and measures to prevent the climate crisis).

If the bill passes, getting an abortion would be a much more comfortable process in the UK – up to this point, many women entering these clinics have been intimidated and threatened by anti-abortion protestors, who are sadly still prevalent in the UK. When looking at other archaic governments – such as the US Congress, which overturned Roe vs Wade back in June – this new proposal offers a glimmer of hope that the rights of women are not being totally disregarded by those who govern us.