The bitter fight over abortion clinic protests - BBC Newsnight
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The bitter fight over abortion clinic protests - BBC Newsnight

Newsnight’s Anna Collinson investigates the battle to introduce buffer zones around UK abortion clinics. Please subscribe HERE http://bit.ly/1rbfUog It is more than four years since the UK's first so-called buffer zone was set up outside an abortion clinic in the London borough of Ealing. The aim was to prevent anti-abortion campaigners approaching - and often upsetting - patients. Pro-choice campaigners had hoped buffer zones - which are legally-protected spaces - would soon become the norm. But since 2018, only two more have been created in England, and BBC Newsnight has been told women are being regularly "harassed". Anti-abortion groups deny their gatherings target women, and some say that instead they are prayer vigils meant to offer help and support. They say that rolling out buffer zones would "criminalise prayer". However, patients say gatherings can make them feel "fear", "distress" or "shame". Pro-choice campaigners say the current requirement for evidence to support the establishment of a buffer zone is too demanding. They point to an example in Bournemouth where hundreds of pieces of evidence said to demonstrate the negative impact gatherings have had outside the local clinic were submitted to the council. These included statements from women with learning difficulties, teenagers and rape victims. A buffer zone has not been enforced. This film was produced by Louis Harris-White. #Newsnight #BBCNews #BBC Newsnight is the BBC's flagship news and current affairs TV programme - with analysis, debate, exclusives, and robust interviews. Website: https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsnight Twitter: https://twitter.com/BBCNewsnight Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bbcnewsnight