The council’s decision to create a “buffer zone” around a Marie Stopes clinic is historicby Dawn Starin / June 21, 2018 / Leave a comment
Mattock Lane in Ealing, West London is a leafy, quiet, mostly-residential street with solid, detached Victorian and Edwardian houses. Dog walkers, mothers with strollers, kids with heavily laden backpacks, designer-clad joggers and groups of teenagers glued to their iphones, head into Walpole Park, a 28 acre haven of wildlife, ornamental ponds and historic buildings. Flocks of squawking rose-necked parakeets fly overhead. English ivies, lavender and hebes are planted in neat bunches in generous sized gardens. Everything seems very properly suburban and ordinary. In fact, Ealing is often referred to as “the queen of the suburbs.” And yet here on Mattock Lane, there is a Marie Stopes clinic that has just become an important part of abortion history in Great Britain.
In October 2017 Sister Supporter, a pro-choice organisation founded by local residents, presented Ealing Council with a dossier of evidence of harassment, including photographs, video, audio and written witness statements and petitioned Ealing Council to put an end to the anti-abortion protests outside the clinic. After months of public consultations and exploring a range of options, Ealing Council’s cabinet voted unanimously in favour of creating a safe zone around the clinic.