Ealing Council voted unanimously to introduce the first ban on protesters demonstrating outside an abortion clinic in Mattock Lane on Tuesday night (April 10).
Cabinet members voted in favour of allowing a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) to create a protest-free "safe zone" outside the Marie Stopes clinic.
The council spent months exploring a range of options on how to prevent "intimidation, harassment and distress" for women who use the clinic.
However, the decision to enforce a 100-metre buffer zone preventing pro-life campaigners standing directly outside the clinic was not welcomed by everyone who attended the council meeting.
After pro-choice demonstrators from local group Sister Supporter burst into applause after the unanimous vote, a pro-life protester approached cabinet members and urged them to reconsider.
"I cannot give up on this," she told the meeting, which was chaired by council leader Julian Bell.
"Please go back and review what you have just done here."
Before being led out of the meeting, another activist said: "What you don't appreciate is some women are very vulnerable and are under immense pressure and are being taken [to the clinic].
"Their babies have a right to life, so please review and think very carefully about everything you have just decided because it's very serious."
Ahead of the meeting, pro-life and pro-choice campaigners lined the street outside Ealing Town Hall.
While members of Sister Supporter repeated "my body, my choice", a pro-life spokesman for Be Here For Me accused the group of "empty slogans and chanting".
Speaking to getwestlondon , founder of Sister Supporter Anna Veglio-White said that she is "completely elated" about the council voting to end intimidation and harassment outside the clinic.
She said: "A PSPO means everything to women accessing these services. It means freedom of thought, freedom to have bodily autonomy, the right to privacy and physical and mental wellbeing.
“It’s not really even something we should have had to have fought for because it seems so obvious that people should be able to access a legal health care service without being approached."
In a statement read in the meeting, Ms Veglio-White suggested the "world is watching" Ealing Council make this "landmark decision".
She added: “We see this order as addressing the imbalance of human rights outside the clinic. We see this as women finally being able to make it through the gates unhindered.
“The anti-abortion activists will still be able to protest anywhere they please. No-one is denying their voice. The Good Counsel Network will still be able to provide support but they must find a better way of doing this.
“Free speech is a qualified right it is not an absolute given, and it has never superceded women’s rights to anonymity."
Like other PSPOs in the borough, the order will be introduced for three years with a review to be held after six months. The review will include impact analysis and feedback from interested parties, council officers and police.
The safe zone can be introduced immediately once the five day call in period has passed on April 23.
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