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Mothers launch High Court challenge against Ealing buffer zone

24 April 2018


Alina with her daughter. 

SPUC has also launched a petition.

Alina Dulgheriu, a mother who was given support to keep her baby by a pro-life vigil outside an abortion clinic, has launched legal action against the buffer zone around the Marie Stopes centre in Ealing.

Criminalising prayer

The Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) imposed by Ealing Council, which came into force yesterday, bans groups like the Good Counsel Network from offering help to women outside the clinic, and criminalises prayer. 

Last week, SPUC launched a new petition opposing this attack on peaceful freedom of expression in Ealing and elsewhere. Now, Alina says she is taking legal action against the Ealing PSPO, which prevents women like her being offered help in a crisis.

Removing vital support

"My little girl is here today because of the real practical and emotional support that I was given by a group outside a Marie Stopes clinic," she said. "I am launching my legal challenge at the high court to ensure that all women at Ealing and across the country do not have a vital support option removed. In doing this I represent the thousands of women who have been helped by these vigils."

Alina has recently been telling the media her story of how she was abandoned by her family and friends with a pregnancy that would have left her homeless and jobless. On the day of her appointment, she met vigil members who went on to assist her with everything from food, clothes and accommodation to emotional and spiritual support. Three years after the birth of her daughter, she started attending vigils herself. 

 

Forcing women into abortions

Jacelyn, another mother who was supported outside an abortion centre, said:  "I am 100% behind Alina’s legal challenge. My daughter means the world to me. It is really upsetting that Ealing council will today actively ban the offering of support like I received outside the abortion clinic. If censorship zones are brought in, many women who are in similar situations to me will be forced into going ahead with abortions they don’t want."

Fighting this lawfully

Alina will be filing her challenge as soon as possible. In the meantime, the Good Counsel Network has asked that people do not break the conditions of the PSPO. "We can see that the PSPO is a complete misuse and abuse of laws intended to control anti-social behaviour, not intended to crush charitable outreach, prayer and public acts of witness," says a blog from the group. "We want to see this fought in a legal and law abiding manner. This is about the right of those women who want our support to be able to access it at the point of need, not about any one of us becoming a hero, or being branded a criminal. We want to fight it in a way that demonstrates that. We are law-abiding citizens and we want to fight for our rights and the rights of mothers who want our help, lawfully."

Stop attack on peaceful freedom of expression

SPUC's petition states:

"Moves are being made around Britain to prevent peaceful pro-lifers from praying outside abortion centres and offering support to women who may not want to proceed with an abortion.

  • This is an attack on the freedom of expression and the freedom to pray in public of peaceful pro-life citizens, especially outside abortion centres.
  • Vulnerable women who come under pressure to abort their babies will be denied a quiet word of support from peaceful pro-life citizens.
  • The winners will be the abortion industry, and men who want their partners to get rid of their baby.

"We the undersigned call upon the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, to oppose any moves to restrict peaceful pro-life citizens' freedom of expression and freedom to pray outside abortion centres."

You can sign SPUC's petition here.

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