The abortion clinic on Ophir Road has, for two decades, suffered
some of the most persistent anti-abortion harassment in England.
Evidence of the harassment and its impact on service users and
staff has been collected by Sister Supporter Bournemouth and BPAS
Bournemouth since 2017, and has been provided to BCP Council
several times over the past five years. The council and local
police are aware of the problem, but little has been done to make
the area about the abortion clinic safe for service users, staff
and local residents.
The anti-abortion vigils that occur daily outside the clinic amount to more than the exercise of the right to protest and it is time that action is taken to prevent this harassment. The council can protect the space around the clinic under s59 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and also have duties under s149 Equality Act 2010 to eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation of women. The sustained intimidation and presence outside the clinic not only causes great distress to patients but has a persistent detrimental effect on people living, working in and visiting the BPAS abortion clinic.
The use of a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) to create a
buffer zone around the BPAS abortion clinic in Bournemouth would be
feasible, proportionate and effective. We implore the council to
use their power to implement a PSPO as soon as possible to end this
20-year assault against safe, legal abortion healthcare.
This ePetition runs from 06/05/2022 to 27/06/2022.
770 people have signed this ePetition.