Parliamentarians from both opposition and coalition parties expressed concerns about increasingly intimidating anti-abortion, anti-choice demonstrations at abortion clinics in the Netherlands. Oppositions parties GroenLinks, PvdA, SP, PvdD and 50Plus and ruling party VVD issued a joint call to protect women's right to safely choose abortion, NOS and RTL Nieuws report.
Minister Hugo de Jonge of Public Health thinks it is a "good idea" for municipalities to keep pro-life protesters at an appropriate distance from abortion clinics. He supports municipalities who want to protect the women going to these clinics by creating buffer zones around the clinics. "I am in contact with the municipalities and the clinics about that", the Minister said, AD reports.
Women who go to the abortion clinic in Rotterdam are increasingly being harassed by anti-abortion protesters, according to clinic director Gerrit Zomerdijk. The clinic is therefore asking the municipality of Rotterdam for help, RTV Rijnmond reports.
"They speak to women, stand there with small dolls depicting a fetus, with a poster of an unborn child on their stomach or with a mouth taped shut", Zomerdijk said to the local broadcaster. "Officially, they can only stand on the other side of the street, but they don't stick to that."
Waiting times at abortion clinics in the Netherlands are increasing, especially in the big cities, BNR reports after surveying a number of clinics throughout the country. As a result, women have to wait longer before being helped or have to travel far from their home to find a clinic that can help them right away, according to the broadcaster.