News from Europe

Abortion and banning pro-life protests are widely supported in the UK

According to the YouGov UK poll released this October, 77% of British citizens agree with prohibiting protests that happen in the "immediate surroundings of abortion clinics". 14% disagree with banning them and 9% are not certain.

The survey was based on responses from 2,098 British citizens, conducted on the 28-29th of September, and released at the end of October. 

81% of females expressed their support for a ban, in contrast to 76% of male interviewees. 49% of responders were in favour of the current legal limit of allowing abortion up until 24 weeks into a pregnancy. 25% said it should be forced back to an earlier stage. 65% support abortion for any reason for up to 24 weeks into a pregnancy, with 16% saying it should only be available during that time for “specific circumstances, such as disability or risk to the health of the mother.”

There have been several attempts in the United Kingdom to prohibit pro-life demonstrations held near abortion clinics by creating buffer zones around the premises. The Supreme Court and Northern Ireland passed an “Abortion Safe Access” bill in March, banning any effort to deter a woman from getting an abortion.

Liam Gibson from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children condemned the bill, stating it was “not only a bad decision” but also one that sets “a precedent which has the potential to endanger everyone’s right to freedom of speech and the right to engage in peaceful protest. The abortion industry loathes the public expression of the pro-life message and our efforts to reach out to women considering abortion. The systematic campaign to restrict pro-life freedom of speech is already well advanced, but this will make the censorship worse”. 

Following the arrest of activist Isabel Vaughan-Spruce, who was silently praying outside an abortion clinic in Birmingham, pro-life supporters have expressed their concern over freedom of speech in the UK. Jeremiah Igunnubole, legal counsel for the U.K. chapter of the Alliance Defending Freedom, said: “There is now an urgent need for legal changes to stem the tide of policing by politics. We hope the decision from West Midlands Police that they will not prosecute free thought, alongside the Home Secretary’s public commitment to protecting silent prayer, will be reflected in legislation, guidance, and practice.”





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