Over 5,300 people emailed mayors asking for buffer zones around abortion clinics
Mayors received over 5,300 emails over the past days asking them to create buffer zones around abortion clinics to protect visitors from intimidation. The Humanist Association initiated the action.
The campaign started on Tuesday. The Association made an email available on its website, to which people could add their first and last name, email address, and telephone number. The emails were sent to the mayors of nine municipalities with abortion clinics where, according to the Association, there are currently few or no rules for anti-abortion protesters. These include the mayor of Amsterdam Femke Halsema, her colleague in Almere Frank Weerwind, and Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb.
The Humanist Association calls the action a last resort "For years, anti-abortion activists have been demonstrating at the entrance of abortion clinics. They harass visitors by grabbing them or providing false information. This intimidation must stop."
The Association wants a buffer zone around the clinics in which people are not allowed to demonstrate so that visitors can enter unhindered. "Some municipalities already have one, such as in Utrecht, where anti-abortion activists have to keep 100 meters away. In Arnhem, that is even 500 meters."
However, many municipalities have taken few measures to protect visitors, said the Association. It started a petition that has been signed over 33,000 times. Caretaker Minister Hugo de Jonge also expressed his support for buffer zones, the Association said. Furthermore, the Association itself sent many letters to mayors and political parties. "We have tried everything. Now the ball is in the public's court."
Reporting by ANP