Cotteridge residents are pushing for a protection order from the council to prevent ‘Pro-Life’ supporters protesting outside Birmingham’s abortion clinic.
There have been 43 clinics targeted by ‘Pro-Life’ protestors throughout the UK.
On average, one in three women will have an abortion. In 2020, there were 210,860 in England and Wales, the highest since records began, and is highest within 21 year olds.
Birmingham’s British Pregnancy Advisory Services’ (BPAS), as well as residents, are pushing for other constituents to have their voices heard in an open consultation on the implementation of a “safe buffer-zone”.
There are currently four buffer zones in London and Manchester to protect the women attending abortion clinics from protestors, known as PSPOs. A Public Safety Protection Order (PSPO) prevents campaigning and protesting in a specified area, often with the purpose to protect residents and those visiting abortion clinics.
Back-Off are the leading campaign group supported by the BPAS and are continuously pushing for buffer-zones, meaning activities such as filming of women accessing services, harassment and intimidation would not be permitted within a 150-metre radius of the clinic.
Liz Bates, Cotteridge resident and Pro-Choice campaigner, said: “We are really optimistic that we are going to get the PSPO. We have the police, the local MP the local council the Council Community and Safety Protection Office on our side.
“We have a lot of evidence to support it. the only thing we need now is the public consultation to be in our favour.
“People protest for forty days at a time twice a year, once during Lent and once during September and October, which corresponds to when the Roe v Wade case passed in the United States.’
Roe v Wade was a landmark law case in the US which changed laws to allow women to have an abortion under the right to privacy in 1973.
One male Birmingham Resident who wanted to remain anonymous, is a ‘Pro-life’ supporter.
He said: “I think all life has value and I think abortions lessen the meaning of life. I think it loathes the meaning of procreation and what our lives mean.”
Liz Bates continues: “Women should not have to go through judgement and harassment to get health care, and it makes the atmosphere tense and uncomfortable for the women and the staff who work there.
“I think we need people close to the clinic to have their voices heard. Promote the public consultations and respect your female friends’ right to make choices about their own bodies.”
If you want your voice to be heard, you can respond to Birmingham City Council’s consultation questionnaire using the following link.
Robert Clinic PSPO consultation – Birmingham City Council – Citizen Space (birminghambeheard.org.uk)