Humanists UK concerned over government’s plan to consult on safe access zones

21 November, 2023

Anti-choice protests outside of abortion clinics are increasingly common across the UK

Humanists UK has raised concerns over the government’s move to consult on the implementation of safe access zones around abortion clinics, despite a clear mandate from Parliament supporting the establishment of such zones. Parliament voted over six months ago to implement the safe access zones in England and Wales, where protests are prohibited, yet there’s no sign of these being implemented and women visiting the clinics are being regularly intimidated.

Baroness Deech raised this concern in the House of Lords yesterday, accusing the Government of ‘foot-dragging’ and urged the Minister ‘not to delay the will of parliament any longer but to get on with it and protect women from these very cruel demonstrations’.

Humanists UK’s Director of Policy and Public Affairs Kathy Riddick said:

‘Parliament has already spoken decisively on the necessity of safe access zones. It’s perplexing why the UK Government now seeks further public consultation when the will of Parliament was so clearly expressed.’

‘Every day without these protective measures exposes vulnerable individuals to potential harm and distress. The Government must honour the democratic process and swiftly enact to implement these much needed safe access zones.’

Add your name here to call for safe access zones around abortion clinics now, to protect women from harassment and intimidation when accessing these essential healthcare services.


For further comment or information, media should contact Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Kathy Riddick at or phone 020 3675 0959.

Read more about our work on abortion.

Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by 110,000 members and supporters, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. We provide ceremonies, pastoral care, education, and support services benefitting over a million people every year and our campaigns advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all.