In April this year, the Ealing Council imposed a protest-free zone (100 metre radius) around the Marie Stopes Abortion Clinic.
The decision was made after women using the clinic were intimidated, harassed and distressed as they entered and left the building.
Ealing Council became the first in the nation to make a buffer-zone. It stops both anti-abortion and pro-choice organisations.
In June the anti-abortion organisation Be Here For Me appealed against the public space protection order (PSPO), arguing that women would not be able to access help in moving forward with the pregnancy.
Alina Dulgheriu who was offered help by Be Here For Me, said, “I am devastated for those women that since the introduction of the Ealing PSPO have not been able to access the loving help that I did.
“I feel desperately sorry for the vigil members who since the move to create this PSPO have been consistently subject to abuse on the street and slander online.”
The high court confirmed the council’s decision, arguing for the interest and emotional wellbeing of the women willing to end their pregnancy as well as the people working in the facility who are subject to abuse.
This was mentioned by Richard Bentley, managing director of the clinic, in April: “This was never about protest.
“It was about small groups of strangers choosing to gather by our entrance gates where they could harass and intimidate women and try to prevent them from accessing healthcare to which they are legally entitled.”
Following the high court decision, Julian Bell, leader of the council, said, “The harassment and intimidation of local residents and those accessing legally available medical services was totally unacceptable.”