I was deeply disappointed when the Government announced their decision to reject buffer zones outside abortion clinics. This rejection is a failure to uphold women’s rights over their own bodies. We must look at ways of making sure that women seeking advice, and staff members in clinics, are safe.
I believe it is vital that women can access confidential medical and psychological advice and support. Women should be able to access these services without fear of harassment or intimidation simply for exercising their legal right to healthcare advice. I am aware that other countries around the world, such as the USA and France, have introduced measures that include buffer zones. It is sensible to look at the experience of other countries.
I am aware of the concerns that have since been raised about the way in which the review into harassment and intimidation near abortion clinics was conducted. I know several groups are pressing for a fresh inquiry. I hope these calls will be considered very carefully and that the Government will reassess their decision to reject buffer zones.