The Liberal Democrats have today marked International Women’s Day by introducing a Bill which would prohibit anti-abortion protests within 150 metres of abortion clinics.
The move from the Liberal Democrats comes as Texas-founded anti-abortion group "40 Days for Life" is holding a series of protests outside several British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) clinics, which provide pregnancy counselling, contraception, miscarriage management and abortion care.
BPAS previously called in 2018 for a ban on protests outside their Cardiff clinic.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds commented:
Women across Wales should be able to access abortion clinics without being harassed or exposed to graphic images by anti-abortion protesters.
I welcome Sarah Olney’s bill today which would be an important step towards protecting women visiting abortion clinics and all those who work there. I urge every Welsh MP to give this bill their full support.
Ahead of her Bill’s reading, Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Olney said:
This form of protest is nothing more than bullying women when often they are at their most vulnerable. In no decent, caring society should the steps of an abortion clinic have become the place for debate.
The current method of introducing ‘safe zones’ is not a long-term solution. It creates a postcode lottery while the costs for implementing and upholding them uses up precious local government resources.