Amber Rudd announces review into harassment outside abortion clinics

Posted On: 
26th November 2017

The Home Secretary is considering giving police new powers to deal with "aggressive protesters" outside abortion clinics.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said harassment outside abortion clinics was 'completely unacceptable'
Credit: 
PA

Amber Rudd has announced a review into harassment and intimidation of staff and users of clinics, who often face barracking from pro-life campaigners. 

“While everyone has a right to peaceful protest, it is completely unacceptable that anyone should feel harassed or intimidated simply for exercising their legal right to healthcare advice and treatment," Ms Rudd said.

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“The decision to have an abortion is already an incredibly personal one, without women being further pressured by aggressive protesters.”

RUPA HUQ LETTER

It comes after she received a letter last month signed by 113 MPs, including Jeremy Corbyn, asking the Home Office to consider imposing "buffer zones" around clinics to protect women. 

Labour MP Rupa Huq, who organised the letter, said protesters in her Ealing Central and Acton constituency had displayed "oversized signs of distressing and graphic" images and called women using a clinic "murderers".

She said her local council had been forced to use anti-social behaviour powers to crack down on the protests.

“The women accessing clinics are not seeking debate - they are trying to make their own personal decision about their own pregnancy," she wrote in the letter.

 “And it must be our job as parliamentarians to protect that right.”