Tired of women having to run the gauntlet of anti-abortion vigils, UK campaigners are making history with protective buffer zones

A young woman with blue hair and a wide smile cycles past the Marie Stopes clinic in Ealing, west London. When she spots the Sister Supporter volunteers wearing luminous pink tabards emblazoned with the words “pro-choice”, she rings her bell and calls out: “Well done! I think it’s incredible what you have done.”

The group, set up just two years ago, has achieved minor celebrity status in this part of west London. Along with others, it helped convince the council earlier this month to vote in favour of a implementing a buffer zone around the clinic, to protect women from persistent anti-abortion protesters. After a two-month consultation, barring any unforeseen interventions, the ruling will come into effect and the protesters will be pushed back.

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