Councillor David Noakes, Liberal Democrat councillor for Cathedrals ward, has called on Southwark Council to investigate installing a ‘buffer zone’ outside Blackfriars Medical Practice to protect women visiting the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) clinic.
He proposed a cross party motion at Southwark Council’s Assembly last Wednesday evening (29th of November), which was passed unanimously, to look at options to set up a perimeter around the clinic and NHS GP practice, to enable women to exercise their legal right to an abortion.
Anti-abortion activists have been protesting outside the clinic for over three years, with distressing images and body cameras that can capture those entering and leaving the centre.
The move follows a similar motion passed by Ealing Council in October to do as much as legally possible to prevent protestors from harassing and intimidating women outside such clinics.
Speaking ahead of the debate, David Noakes said ‘It’s been fifty years since the Liberal MP David Steel changed the law to give women the right to a legal and safe abortion. Some people disagree with that, and they have the right to campaign and lobby for a change in the law. However, women also have the right to access a legal and safe abortion without feeling intimidated and harassed. Hundreds of local residents have contacted me to support the move to establish a buffer-zone and I hope the Council will work with other interested parties to investigate how this can be delivered.’