In a decision issued today, Appeal Court judges have rejected a challenge to a High Court ruling upholding Ealing Councils’ buffer zone around an abortion clinic.
“This is a tragic decision which dangerously infringes democracy and blocks women from receiving support from pro-life vigils” said John Deighan, SPUC’s deputy chief executive officer.
John Deighan continued:
“The verdict was imposed on the basis that a censorship zone was needed in order to protect Marie Stopes clinic users from ‘harassment and intimidation.’ Such false allegations are widely used in an attempt to vilify peaceful pro-life people, yet there have been no findings or prosecutions of intimidation and harassment concerning pro-life vigils in the United Kingdom.”
The ramifications of such a ruling
Ealing Council initially enforced a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) of 100 metres upon the area in April 2018, seeking to censor any pro-life support being offered to pregnant women. Richmond Council came next with their decision also to impose a PSPO which was enforced in February of this year. Several other councils are now following suit including Birmingham, Manchester, Portsmouth, Leeds and, in London, Lambeth and Southwark.
“This amounts to a growing attack on freedom of speech and freedom of assembly taking root in councils across the land”, John Deighan continued.
“Whilst legal proceedings have also been launched against Richmond council concerning their abortion clinic buffer zone decision, today’s ruling sets a troubling precedent.”
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Dissolving the tenets of democracy
John Deighan continued: “This verdict is a shocking reflection of just how little regard our judges have for the basic tenets of democracy. In upholding a censorship zone, women are being denied the opportunity of receiving support, resources and choice, and members of the public are being refused their right to exercise basic freedoms. We must now look at re-awakening our society’s appreciation of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. Democracy cannot survive without these basic freedoms.
John Deighan concluded: “What we are witnessing is a sinister cultural shift where the basic tenets of freedom and democracy are being gradually dissolved. At the heart of this disorder is the abortion industry which needs to suppress truth to allow its dreadful business to continue. Those who support democracy should be at our side in opposing abortion clinic buffer zones.”
LifeNews Note: Courtesy of SPUC. The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children is a leading pro-life organization in the United Kingdom.