The government is considering restricting prayer vigils outside abortion clinics, the Home Office has said.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said women needed protection from “aggressive protesters”; the Government would carry out a review of existing legislation and consider giving police and local authorities new powers to stop pro-lifers gathering outside abortion clinics.

“While everyone has a right to peaceful protest, it is completely unacceptable that anyone should feel harassed or intimidated simply for exercising their legal right to healthcare advice and treatment,” Ms Rudd said in a statement.

“The decision to have an abortion is already an incredibly personal one, without women being further pressured by aggressive protesters.”

The Home Office review will consider how similar measures have worked in America, Australia and France.

The move comes amid a campaign by Labour MP Rupa Huq to create “buffer zones” around abortion clinics to stop people praying there and offering leaflets to women.

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