A PETITION launched to introduce a buffer zone outside a Bournemouth abortion clinic is to be discussed at a council meeting next week.

Alongside the petition by Sister Supporter, BCP Liberal Democrats has tabled a motion to ask the council consult on a public space protection order for the Orphir Road clinic.

The call follows months of petitioning by womens rights group, which has been backed by more than 2,700 people.

Sister Supporter believes a zone would offer users protection from protesters, who are said to regularly gather outside the premises.

Councillor Millie Earl, deputy leader of the BCP Liberal Democrat group, said: “I’ve been out campaigning with Sister Supporter for the last couple of months collecting signatures for the petition and I’m so pleased that this topic will finally come to Full Council for debate as it’s long overdue.

“As a resolution to the debate, I’m hoping my colleagues from across the chamber will agree that BCP Council has a duty to stop intimidation and harassment of women accessing legal abortion services and will support my motion for this to move to consultation.

“It’s vital that BCP Council recognise the impact of the harassment women and staff experience at the clinic. Everyone has a right to protest, but that needs to be balanced with the right of women and pregnant people to choose and to obtain advice and treatment in confidence and free from intimidation.”

The petition and the motion will be debated at a Bournemouth Town Hall full council meeting on the evening of July 12.

As reported, BCP Council has said they are already working on a solution to the concerns surrounding the clinic.

Councillor Bobbie Dove, portfolio holder for community safety, said: “I called a multi-agency meeting in November 2021 shortly after being confirmed as portfolio holder for community safety and have since been working with our anti-social behaviour team to consider the evidence and options available to resolve the community concerns relating to the Bournemouth BPAS Clinic.

“We will shortly be concluding our assessment and a decision on how the council intends to proceed will be made in due course.”