Less than a week after voting to repeal unborn babies’ rights in Ireland, pro-abortion politicians already are talking about ways to block pro-life advocates from reaching out to women outside abortion facilities.
The Irish Independent reports Health Minister Simon Harris, a strong abortion advocate during the campaign, proposed buffer zones to prohibit protests near future abortion facilities in Ireland.
Harris said the proposal would be included in the abortion legislation that is being considered by parliament.
While the killing of unborn babies is not allowed yet under the law, lawmakers already are talking about extending the summer session to push through abortion legislation. A proposal by government leaders would legalize abortion for any reason up to 12 weeks and for a number of reasons up to six months.
The buffer zone proposal is yet another way abortion activists could silence pro-lifers who want to provide pregnant women with information and support. During the referendum campaign, abortion activists and pro-abortion politicians repeatedly complained about pro-lifers using “graphic images” to harass and intimidate women. In many cases those graphic images were nothing more than images of unborn babies.
Buffer zones in America, England and Australia keep pro-lifers from reaching out to pregnant women in their greatest moment of need – just before entering an abortion facility. Sidewalk counselors offer these women information and support that they may otherwise not know about, including facts about their unborn baby’s development, resources available to them and more.
Earlier this spring, a British city adopted the country’s first buffer zone outside a Marie Stopes abortion facility in Ealing. Pro-life advocates are challenging the 100-meter zone in court.
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Abortion activists claim the buffer zone is necessary to protect women from harassment, but pro-life advocates with the Good Counsel Network said they have never harassed women and hundreds of people have accepted the information they provide.
Previously, Ealing pro-life advocate Clare McCullough told a local radio station a ban of pro-life vigils would support the business interests of the abortion facility, which has “lost about 13% of their clientele in the last year, that [GCN] have figures for.”
Buffer zones not only prevent free speech, they also block pro-lifers from offering life-affirming information and support to pregnant moms. Often it is information that women will not receive inside an abortion facility, including the material support available to them and their babies, the risks of an abortion and the facts about their unborn baby’s development.
Pro-life advocates have been fighting against city and state buffer zones for years. In 2014 in the United States, pro-lifers won a huge victory when the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously struck down a 35-foot Massachusetts buffer zone law.