Calls for buffer zones to be introduced outside abortion clinics to stop patients being harassed have been rejected by Home Secretary Sajid Javid. He said such protest-free areas around clinics in England and Wales "would not be a proportionate response".
A Home Office review found cases of harassment and damaging behaviour but they were "not the norm", he added. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the decision was a "shocking failure to protect women" and should be reversed.
In a written statement, Mr Javid said the review had gathered evidence that showed protesters' behaviour had left patients distressed and caused some to rebook their appointments and not to follow medical advice.
He said that in some cases, protesters handed out model foetuses, displayed graphic images, followed people, blocked their paths and even assaulted them.
However, he added that the review showed these activities were "not the norm" and most anti-abortion activities were "more passive", such as praying, displaying banners and handing out leaflets.