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SPUC warns Home Secretary not to 'fatally injure freedom of speech'

13 August 2018


Home Secretary Sajid Javid has written to pro-abortion campaigners.

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has told the Home Secretary that his decision on buffer zones around abortion clinics, could be "the most momentous" of his career.

In a letter to Sajid Javid MP, following reports that he will be making make an announcement on buffer zones, Antonia Tully of SPUC pointed out that if Mr Javid sanctions national legislation to implement buffer zones he could "fatally injure the highly treasured principle of freedom of speech."

See the full text of the letter here

Mrs Tully wrote: "If you sanction buffer zones through national legislation, citizens of this country wishing to express a controversial view in a public forum could find themselves the wrong side of the law. You could be establishing a precedent that will be used by those with a vested interest in promoting abortion to achieve their goal of silencing anyone who disagrees with them. It is disturbing to think that our democracy could become one in which even those who wish to pray peacefully in public could find themselves cautioned or arrested. Will the freedom to distribute leaflets on an issue which some people object to be prohibited? Who is to the arbiter on who is allowed to be offended? These are simple considerations that I believe you have to make before going ahead and making a decision which could fatally injure the once highly treasured principle of freedom of speech."

The Home Secretary has told pro-abortion campaigners that he plans to announce the results of a UK-wide review into buffer zones in September.

In a letter to pro-abortion MP, Rupa Huq, who leads the cross party campaign calling for buffer zones, Mr Javid said: "I did not want to respond prematurely without having taken a fully considered view. I can confirm that I plan to now make an announcement in September."

Given the false claims of harassment and intimidation attributed to the peaceful, prayerful people who take part in pro-life vigils outside abortion clinics, Mrs Tully's letter to Mr Javid expresses the hope that such claims "have been seriously investigated."

Write to your MP

Please write to your MP urging him/her to put pressure on the Home Secretary not to instigate buffer zone legislation.

Please also sign the SPUC petition to the Home Secretary to STOP the attack on peaceful freedom of expression, if you have not already done so and encourage others to sign the petition as well. (The deadline for petition has been extended in the light of today's announcement.) 

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