William Eichler 12 October 2022

BCP Council bans protests around abortion clinic

BCP Council bans protests around abortion clinic image
Image: Koca Vehbi / Shutterstock.com.

BCP Council has agreed to implement a buffer zone around an abortion clinic in Bournemouth to prevent protestors from harassing women and staff.

The local authority has confirmed that a public spaces protection order (PSPO) will be in place from tomorrow around the British Pregnancy Advice Service (BPAS) clinic in Bournemouth.

BPAS has in the past criticised the council’s apparent reluctance to introduce a PSPO around its Bournemouth clinic.

BPAS chief of staff Rachael Clarke said her organisation first approached the council in 2017 and has since shared more than 600 pieces of evidence regarding harassment outside the clinic.

Following a two-month consultation, portfolio holder for community safety, Cllr Bobbie Dove, yesterday announced that the local authority would now introduce a buffer zone.

‘Whilst we acknowledge the right of anyone to conduct a peaceful protest, we had to balance this against the distress caused or likely to be caused, and the detrimental impact of behaviours experienced by those accessing medical services or doing their jobs,’ said Cllr Dove.

‘The conclusion I arrived at is a balanced and proportionate decision that will benefit the clinic’s users, its staff and the residents living on roads that surround the clinic. I thank everyone who either took part in the consultation, or wrote to me, for their time and views on this very difficult and sensitive matter.’

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