William Eichler 07 March 2019

Council bans anti-abortion protests near clinic

The borough of Richmond has prohibited anti-abortion protests outside a pregnancy advisory clinic after a consultation revealed that the majority of residents supported a ban.

The London council agreed to implement a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) in streets around the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) Clinic in Rosslyn Road at a full council meeting on Tuesday evening.

The decision was made in light of a six-week long formal consultation held in 2018 which received over 3,000 responses and following earlier approval by Richmond Council’s Regulatory Committee in February.

More than 80% of respondents to the consultation agreed or strongly agreed that protests around the BPAS Clinic had a detrimental effect on them or others in the local area.

Additionally, 80% supported the proposal to bring in the PSPO and the buffer zone, rising to 88% of those who are directly affected.

‘For a number of years the users of the BPAS Clinic, staff in the area and the residents in the vicinity of Rosslyn Road have expressed concern about the protests/vigils being held outside the clinic,’ said Cllr Liz Jaeger, Richmond Council cabinet member for community safety.

‘Following a thorough consultation, there was overwhelming feedback that the vigils were having a detrimental effect on them or others in the local area.

‘In making this decision the Council has determined the PSPO strikes the right balance, protecting the human rights of the patients and staff of the BPAS Clinic to use the services and go to work without fear and in privacy.’

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