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Government “changes direction” in review of pro-life witness outside abortion clinics

7 January 2018



The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has welcomed the Government’s “sharp change of direction” in its review of acts of pro-life witness outside abortion clinics.

In a letter to Andrew Mitchell, MP for Sutton Coldfield, Nick Hurd, Minister of State for Policing, has said that evidence for the Home Office review would be gathered “also from those engaging in protests and demonstrations”.

Katherine Hampton, SPUC’s parliamentary officer, said:

“Last November, Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, announced a review into alleged ‘harassment and intimidation near abortion clinics’ which would hear from ‘the police, healthcare workers and local authorities’. However, there was no reference by the Home Office to consulting with the pro-life groups which run the vigils.

“SPUC has been lobbying Members of Parliament asking them to call on the Government to allow the pro-life groups which organise acts of witness outside abortion clinics to participate in the review. And Mary Glindon, the pro-life Labour MP for Tyneside North, challenged the Government in a number of parliamentary questions on its justification for the review and on how the review would be conducted.

“The Government’s sharp change of direction is most welcome”, Katherine Hampton said.

Notes to editors:

  • The Home Office described the review as an “in-depth assessment of protests outside abortion clinics, following reports that some women have been subjected to harassment and intimidating behaviour from protesters when visiting family planning clinics to seek information, advice and services from medical professionals”.
  • In reply to Mary Glindon’s parliamentary question about how many individuals had been prosecuted and convicted for alleged harassment and intimidation outside abortion facilities, the Home Office stated that it "does not hold information requested".

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