Parliament to debate bill banning support outside abortion clinics

24 June 2020

Today (24 June), Labour MP Dr Rupa Huq will bring forward a Ten Minute Rule Bill calling for legislation “to restrict demonstrations in the vicinity of abortion clinics; and for connected purposes.”

Although Ten Minute Rule Bills rarely become law, the abortion lobby is likely to call a vote for the Demonstrations (Abortion Clinics) Ten Minute Rule Bill, which would deny women emotional and practical support and prayer outside abortion clinics across England and Wales.

Pro-abortion MPs could then attempt to bring forward a ‘buffer zone’ amendment to the Domestic Abuse Bill, if there is enough support from the Ten Minute Rule Bill. If passed, these zones would effectively censor any volunteers from peacefully praying and offering support to women entering abortion clinics.

Freedom to protest abortion already under attack

This is not the first time that offering support outside abortion clinics has come under fire, or attempted to be banned. The Christian Legal Centre has helped a number of clients over the years, who have faced challenges over offering prayer and support outside abortion clinics.

Since additional powers were handed over to councils in 2014 by former Prime Minister Theresa May, a number of local councils have already introduced ‘buffer zones’ around local clinics. Most notably, this includes one abortion clinic in Ealing – Dr Huq’s own constituence – where pro-life campaigner Christian Hacking was arrested for praying in August 2019.

Similarly, the Christian Legal Centre is currently supporting pro-life campaign group CBR UK to appeal an abortion image ban in Walthamstow, the constituency of pro-abortion MP Stella Creasy. Stella Creasy is an avid campaigner for abortion up to birth, and has on multiple occasions attempted to ban free speech that protests abortion, not only outside clinics, but anywhere within her constituency.

Long-term plan to limit choice

Writing for The Guardian in 2017, Dr Huq revealed that “ideas have been percolating” on how to restrict pro-life demonstrations since January 2017.

Christian Concern’s challenge on the government’s decision to introduce DIY abortion has also revealed the extent of power and influence that the abortion lobby holds over government. For years, the abortion lobby have been operating at government level, gradually introducing more liberal laws and relaxing safeguards that are meant to protect unborn babies and vulnerable women.

Please pray that this attempt to limit free speech and offer help and support to those in need would fail, and that Parliament would vote to uphold and protect life.

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