London

Ealing abortion clinic buffer zone comes into force

Anti-abortion campaigners outside clinic Image copyright PA
Image caption The Good Counsel Network held daily vigils outside the Marie Stopes clinic in Ealing

A buffer zone has come into force around an abortion clinic in west London.

The order means neither anti-abortion nor pro-choice campaigners are able to stand within 100m (330 ft) of the Marie Stopes clinic in Ealing.

Councillors voted unanimously to implement the safe zone after women complained of intimidation.

The Good Counsel Network, which holds daily vigils outside the centre in Mattock Lane, denies it harassed women.

A designated area for vigils has been set up west of the clinic outside the buffer zone.

Restrictions have been imposed on campaigners including the number who are allowed to be there at any time.

Ealing Council said that anybody who breaches the order "would be committing a criminal offence and can be fined or prosecuted".

The buffer zone has been introduced for three years with a review to be held after six months.

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