MPs vote to ban protests outside abortion clinics

25 June 2020

This week, MPs have voted in favour of a bill that would ban protests and deny women practical and emotional support outside abortion clinics.

Labour MP Dr Rupa Huq’s Demonstrations (Abortion Clinics) Ten Minute Rule Bill, passed by 213 votes to 47. Although this vote does not change the law, it demonstrates the growing influence of the abortion lobby in Parliament.

The bill calls for legislation “to restrict demonstrations in the vicinity of abortion clinics; and for connected purposes.” It seeks to introduce a 300 metre ‘buffer zone’ around all abortion clinics and would give the police the authority to intervene in any demonstrations.

Ten Minute Rule Bills rarely become law, but pro-abortion MPs could now attempt to bring forward a ‘buffer zone’ amendment to the Domestic Abuse Bill. If passed, they could effectively censor any volunteers from peacefully praying outside abortion clinics.

Undermining free speech

Pro-life Conservative MP Fiona Bruce spoke out against the bill, calling it “regressive” and “drastic overreaction” that would undermine freedoms of speech and conscience.

Speaking the House of Commons, she commented:

“Let me clear, I do not condone aggressive protest activities outside abortion clinics.

“But these are in the minority and imposing national legislation where it is not required to tackle these would be a drastic overreaction because of the potential damage this bill could do to the more widely held freedom of speech in this country.”

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