SPUC presents buffer zone petition to Home Secretary
12 October 2017
SPUC staff with the petition in front of the home office.
Pro-life vigils offer a lifeline to women in crisis.
SPUC have today sent a petition to the Home Secretary, asking her to reject calls to make it illegal for peaceful pavement counsellors to offer pro-life alternatives near abortion clinics.
The petition was signed by over 8000 people in SPUC's campaign opposing buffer zones. It states that "pro-life pavement counsellors stand near abortion clinics and offer women free help, without coercion, to avoid abortion. It is currently lawful to do this provided there is no obstruction or harassment. The privately run clinics want to make it illegal to offer women help near their premises. These clinics receive around £600 for each abortion they perform."
ASBOs in Ealing
The petition was presented following a decision on Tuesday by Ealing Council which could see a ban on people conducting prayer vigils near premises where abortions are carried out.
The London borough is thought to be planning to use Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs), which replaced ASBOs, and give councils the power to take action against what they perceive as anti-social behaviour.
PSPOs are usually taken against those drinking or drug-taking in public. The vote followed complaints made by the aggressively pro-abortion group Sister Supporter, which complained about the peaceful and trouble-free vigils which have held for more than 23 years by the pro-life Good Counsel Network and other groups.
Saving children's lives
In a press release, Dr Anthony McCarthy of SPUC said: "We know through the witness of many women who have come to us that there are children today who owe their very lives to the courage of these volunteers, standing out in all weathers and sometimes facing abuse from members of the public or even from officials."
On the situation in Ealing, he said: "It is those offering a lifeline to women in crisis who need protection from those pushing abortion, not vice versa. For a local authority to consider categorising pro-life people offering help with drunks and drug addicts is almost beyond comprehension."