Second UK local council in UK institutes ‘exclusion zone’

A council in London has approved an exclusion zone around an abortion clinic, making it only the second local authority in the U.K. to take such action to prevent pro-life activities.

Richmond Council, which covers an area of southwest London along the River Thames, approved a decision to make it a crime to attempt any form of interaction with staff or visitors to a center run by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service in the Twickenham section of London.

The policy comes less than a year after Ealing Council, also a London local authority, used a Public Spaces Protection Order to prevent pro-life activists from approaching people or praying within 200 meters of a Marie Stopes clinic.

The activists reject allegations of harassment and say they gather to offer advice and support and pray peacefully.

The Ealing policy is due to be challenged legally in the Court of Appeal, and it has been criticized by the Catholic bishops of England and Wales.