On Wednesday, Ealing Council voted unanimously to impose a safe zone of 100 metres around a Marie Stopes abortion centre.
Council leader, Julian Bell, described the measure as “something that’s long been needed.”
The so-called Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO), voted for unanimously by Ealing Council, is the first of its kind in the UK.
Clinic staff allege their clients have, for years, been harassed and intimidated by Christian and other groups who stand on the public footpath outside the facility.
In a statement, the council said: “Councillors agreed that the need to provide safe, unimpeded access to the clinic in the safe zone can be balanced with the Equality Act and the European Convention on Human Rights.”
But former Liberal Democrat MP and Peer Lord Alton labelled the PSPOs “censorship zones” and went on say: “However, the introduction of badly worded censorship zones cannot be good for society as they criminalise the good with the bad.”
“This is damaging to charitable outreach, to free speech and to our democratic way of life and it overturns longstanding constitutional principles that minimal criminalisation.”
Be Here For Me is a group led by mothers campaigning against the censorship zones outside abortion clinics, organised a protest outside Ealing council on Tuesday night.
The United Kingdom-based Catholic pro-life group, The Good Counsel Network, has protested outside a Marie Stopes abortion clinic in Ealing for years.
Birmingham and Portsmouth councils have already begun their own consultations on the use of PSPOs around their local abortion facilities.