What is ‘Back Off’?

Back Off is a 2014 campaign launched by the English abortion provider, BPAS. The campaign wants to create new, national, laws to ban all activity, including prayer, in designated areas.

In England 3 Local Councils have used PSPO legislation to create “buffer zones.” The first was in Ealing, West London. The campaign has not been successful in its aim for a national law.

In 2018 the UK Home Office published a call for evidence and received over 2,500 responses. After analysis the Home Secretary provided a Written Statement to Parliament:

“Having considered the evidence of the review, I have therefore reached the conclusion that introducing national buffer zones would not be a proportionate response, considering the experiences of the majority of hospitals and clinics, and considering that the majority of activities are more passive in nature”


In Scotland, almost all abortions are provided directly by NHS Scotland Health Boards, rather than private providers, such as BPAS.

In Edinburgh, in 2020, students created a ‘Back Off Chalmers’ group which subsequently became ‘Back Off Scotland.’ The student group is co-ordinated by BPAS

In Northern Ireland, BPAS supported the Abortion Services (Safe Access Zones) Bill which was passed by the Northern Irish Assembly in March, 2022.