Manchester City Council has a launched a consultation on whether to introduce an abortion ‘buffer zone’ around a Marie Stopes clinic in Fallowfield.
The proposed Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) would prevent people praying and handing out pro-life literature in the area near the clinic.
The council is considering allowing a small space within the zone for up to three people to demonstrate in near silence with small placards.
Grace Browne of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children said: “If we truly were a society that supported a woman’s right to choose, we would not be blocking her from receiving the information which allows her to make a fully informed choice.”
Robert Colquhoun, International Director of 40 Days for Life, said:
“We have witnessed hundreds of women scheduled for an abortion choose life thanks to the offer of compassionate and loving support outside abortion centres”.
While abortion activists say a PSPO will protect women from intimidation, three elderly pro-lifers were harassed outside the Fallowfield clinic this year.
An angry passerby – described as “a six-foot aggressor” by local news outlet Mancunian Matters – screamed obscenities at them and threw their leaflets and placards over a nearby fence.
In August, the Court of Appeal upheld Ealing Council’s decision to introduce a ‘buffer zone’ around a Marie Stopes clinic there.
Alina Dulgheriu, whose own daughter was saved “because of the real practical and emotional support” she received, said she would appeal the ruling.
In 2018, the then Home Secretary Sajid Javid rejected calls to introduce ‘buffer zones’ nationwide.