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Media statement: Ealing Council Public Space Protection Order (PSPO)

Tuesday 10 October 2017 Press release UK

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Richard Bentley, Managing Director at Marie Stopes UK, said:

“This ground-breaking move by Ealing Council sets a national precedent for ending the harassment of women using legal healthcare services. We hope that other local authorities will follow this example and act to increase protection for women in their area.

“For too long, these groups have used the word 'protest' to mask their real objectives, which are to harass women they don’t know, invade their space and block their right to healthcare. If they were serious about protesting abortion law, they would be standing on Whitehall where the laws are made. We respect and support the right to free speech, but it absolutely does not give strangers a free pass to bully and intimidate women.

“The majority of women who arrive at our clinics have already had a consultation with a trained professional in which they have talked through their options and have come to a decision that’s right for them. Strangers harassing them as they enter and leave the clinic does nothing to change that. All it does is upset women on what can already be a difficult day.

“We are grateful to Ealing Council for recognising this and taking action, and to Sister Supporter and Rupa Huq MP for their campaign.”

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