THE BLOG

Why We Need Buffer Zones Around Abortion Clinics

29/04/2015 13:57 | Updated 28 June 2015

There's nothing more annoying than upper-class white men who disagree with abortion based on some sort of Christian morality. (Of course by this I mean most people who disagree with abortion, but those who haven't worked or suffered a day in their lives are much worse, Christian or no.)

The Labour Party and The Green Party are the only two - of the main parties - who support the introduction of buffer zones for protesters around abortion clinics. I think I must've missed the part where abortion wasn't the decision of the individual woman? The general idea is that if you're against abortion, you wouldn't have one? No? Well I've come across several men, who definitely don't even own a womb, via social media, who seem to think otherwise. They expressed their opinion on how protesting is a human right and had to be allowed within a democracy. Yes - this I absolutely agree with. Of course we need the right to protest, no matter what, but considering the issue of abortion is a personal (and often an emotional decision) shouldn't we, as women, have the right to walk into an abortion clinic and walk back out - physically and emotionally vulnerable - and not be confronted by often vicious protesters who think these women are the devil incarnate?

Okay, so not everyone has the same opinion on abortion and whilst I struggle to understand the arguments of the people who are anti-abortion, I do respect their right to protest and of course their right to disagree.

Buffer zones, however, aren't taking away the right to protest, they're simply protecting the privacy of women - one in three women have an abortion in today's society by the way - and keeping them safe. Imagine walking towards an abortion clinic, surrounded by protesters, after being raped and coming to the decision to abort your pregnancy. Do women need that? Should that victim have to face that? In that case, should a woman who had become pregnant under normal circumstances, who simply doesn't want children or doesn't want a child at that moment in time, face this abuse either?

I've had the anti-abortion protesters compared to protesters against international poverty - as an example - which I struggled with. The protesters seem to think they're protesting on behalf on the unborn foetus. What I don't understand is, aside from late term abortion, which I completely disagree with (and would go as far to say that if the foetus could be born and live on its own, then the baby left to die, it would indeed be murder) is the idea of the foetus having rights, opinions and even some sort of thought process. The age old debate about abortion has been settled in the UK and I really don't believe that this will ever be changed. We're not about to go backwards and make abortion illegal, so how about we move forwards, provide these buffer zones, simultaneously protecting the right to protest, whilst protecting the right to an abortion without receiving a torrent of verbal - and often physical - abuse.

Looks like my Labour vote has been secured.