This month, I visited MSI Reproductive Choices clinic on Brixton Hill to see firsthand the important work that staff are doing to support women in our area in the face of staffing challenges, funding shortages and targeted anti-abortion protests.
I was very concerned to hear that in the aftermath of the US Supreme Court’s decision, anti-abortion activists in the UK have felt emboldened to step their protests up. I was told by staff that they’ve gone from happening once a month to being a weekly feature.
It’s worth noting that the clinic offers a range of services, including contraception. Seeking an abortion can be a difficult decision that comes with unnecessary shame and stigma and having to pass through a gauntlet of people only makes one of the hardest days of a woman’s life even harder.
That’s why I’ve called on Lambeth Council to implement a buffer zone outside the clinic. Legislation that would introduce these as a matter of course is currently making its way through Parliament. But the escalation of anti-abortion demonstrations outside our local clinic in the wake of the US Supreme Court decision to roll back abortion rights makes it all the more pressing for us to get the ball rolling on this. It’s vital that women can access medical services without fear of harassment or intimidation.