Pro-lifers in Pforzheim, Germany are not allowed to even pray silently outside an abortion facility in their city.
CBN News reports the local 40 Days for Life leaders sued the city for violating their free speech after being banned from praying outside the Pro Familia abortion facility for two years.
On Friday, however, the Karlsruhe Administrative Court dismissed the case, meaning the prayer ban remains in place, according to CNA Deutsch.
“It saddens me that the court has dismissed our lawsuit, thus indirectly approving the ban on our silent prayer vigils near the abortion counseling center,” said Pavica Vojnović, leader of the Pforzheim 40 Days for Life group. “Every life is precious and deserves protection. I am saddened that we are prevented from supporting vulnerable women and their unborn children in prayer.”
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Vojnović said their group is peaceful and prayerful, and they never block the entrance to the abortion facility or keep people from entering. The pro-life leader said they even applied for and initially received permission from the city to hold their pro-life prayer vigils.
For the past two years, however, the city ban has prevented them from continuing their outreach, according to the report.
Dr. Felix Böllmann, who represents the pro-lifers in court through Alliance Defending Freedom International, said the court’s decision allows the city to restrict its residents’ fundamental freedoms.
“Regardless of whether one shares their views in substance or not, there should be agreement that the fundamental rights to freedom of expression, religion and assembly enjoy the protection of the Basic Law,” Böllmann said.
“We are still awaiting the reasons for the verdict, but the dismissal of the case obviously fails to recognize that freedom of expression is the foundation of any free and fair democracy. What kind of society denies prayer to women and children in need?” he continued.
Across the world, abortion activists lobby local government leaders to restrict pro-lifers’ free speech through buffer zones and other ordinances such as the one in Pforzheim.
In 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously struck down a 35-foot Massachusetts buffer zone law. However, other smaller buffer zones still are in place across the U.S.
Pro-life sidewalk counselors do save lives. In 2020, Sidewalk Counselors for Life celebrated helping 10,000 mothers choose life for their unborn babies in its six years of ministry. They encourage mothers to give their babies a chance at life and connect them with community resources, including pregnancy resource centers, that provide financial and material help.
The 40 Days for Life campaign is a world-wide, twice yearly initiative that brings pro-lifers together to pray and offer hope to mothers in need outside their local abortion facilities. The pro-life campaign is dedicated to peaceful, compassionate and prayerful advocacy to help families in need and save lives.