An abortion clinic in Manchester is set to be made a ‘no-protest zone’ following ten years of “harassment” from demonstrators.
Anti-abortion campaigners have regularly targeted the Marie Stopes clinic in Fallowfield to protest the services on offer – which include treatments, advice and support for women considering pregnancy options.
Staff and patients at the clinic say they have been “intimidated” by the demonstrators for ten years and welcomed Manchester City’s Council’s three-year protection order – which has been made for the “safety of residents.”
Eabha Doherty, founder of the Manchester branch of pro-choice movement Sister Supporter, called the Council’s decision a “great relief.”
“We are hopeful this new measure will provide adequate protection for those accessing the clinic from now on,” Doherty added.
City council deputy leader Nigel Murphy told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “The overriding priority of Manchester council is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our residents.”
He added: “No-one should have to put up with behaviour which has a negative impact on them or their environment.”
Robert Colquhoun of 40 Days for Life – the group allegedly responsible for the Marie Stopes protests in Fallowfield – had previously called the demonstrations “peaceful, prayerful and legal.”
Speaking in June, he stated: “We organise peaceful, prayerful and legal vigils outside abortion clinics and have done in Manchester for 10 years.
“In that time we haven’t had a single substantiated case of harassment anywhere in the UK.”
The ‘no-protest’ zone will come into effect on Friday 9 October – covering all of Wynnstay Grove and Wilmslow Road from the junction with Willow Bank to the Sherwood Street junction and Ladybarn Road.