Lambeth Council has opened a consultation to hear what residents think about proposals to introduce a ‘PSPO’ for sexual health and reproductive health clinics in Lambeth to protect women and girls accessing services, including at the clinic on Brixton Hill. This follows a Labour motion at the recent Council meeting calling for a public spaces protection order (PSPO).
Evidence collected by the Back Off campaign, the British Pregnancy Advisory Services (BPAS) campaign to end harassment and intimidation outside clinics, paints a troubling picture of the experience of staff and service users at Marie Stopes in Brixton and BPAS in Streatham.
One woman said she suffered from an existing mental health condition and the comments from protestors “significantly increased my anxiety and anger”. Another user said they made her feel “uncomfortable and afraid of what would happen”. One said the activities “upset people already going through a traumatic situation”.
While everyone has the right to protest peacefully, Lambeth Labour believe it is completely unacceptable for women to be subject to intimidation and harassment simply for exercising their legal right to access abortion services. Read more on the background to this issue here.
Lambeth Council is now consulting on a draft PSPO that would seek to reduce harassment and intimidation and the relaying of false information at the Marie Stopes clinic on Brixton Hill and the BPAS clinic in Streatham.
The Council need to balance the rights of the community to enjoy public spaces without being affected by ASB, with the civil liberties of individuals and groups who may be affected by any restrictions imposed. Whether you are affected by the ASB or would be restricted by the terms of the draft PSPO, you can have your say before 26 February: