MPs have called for the introduction of ‘buffer zones’ outside abortion clinics, and Home Secretary Amber Rudd has ordered an assessment of protests outside abortion clinics after ‘hearing evidence of intimidation by pro-life protesters’.
In fact there is no ‘evidence of intimidation’ from the clinics or indeed the police. A Parliamentary committee was told that staff have been followed to their cars and called ‘murderers’, and that women having abortions have been told they will die of cancer. But these lurid tales were related by buffer zone campaigners, who also want abortion to be completely decriminalised: for clinics to be allowed to perform abortions outside any legal framework.
Campaigners argue that they are simply promoting choice for pregnant women, but in fact they are against those women receiving leaflets offering them a true choice – to have the help they need to keep their babies. If women are intent on having an abortion, they can – and sadly do – ignore them. But many of the most vulnerable women, after receiving such information, have chosen life. In making her ‘assessment’, will Amber Rudd listen to such women? Or is abortion the only choice they will be allowed to make?