Abortion Clinic Protest and Consultation

Bishop Sherrington comments on Abortion Clinic Protest Review  Source CNN

The Government has been holding a review (the Abortion Clinic Protest Review) into the right to hold peaceful protests or prayer vigils outside abortion clinics.  The review, which could lead to the establishment of ‘buffer zones’ which prohibit protest of vigils near abortion clinics, concluded on the 19th February this year.

Bishop John Sherrington, the bishop with responsibility for the ‘Day for Life’ responded to the review saying:-

“There are members of the public, often associated with churches, who gather peacefully to pray outside abortion clinics and witness to the good of human life in a dignified way.  They do so because of their fundamental belief in the protection of unborn life and the good of the mother.”

“The offering of leaflets is part of helping to inform women who might not have had impartial information before.  There are also those who offer practical alternatives and assistance if a woman wants to make a different choice.”

“In a democratic society the freedom to protest and express one’s opinion is always to be considered in relation to the common good.  It should not be necessary to limit the freedom of individuals or groups to express opinions except when they could cause grave harm to others or a threat to public order.  There are already proportionate means in current legislation to deal with these situations.”

“A blanket introduction of ‘buffer zones’ carries with it the danger of both denying freedom of expression and fostering intolerance towards legitimate opinions which promote the common good”

Day for Life   http://www.dayforlife.org/

Good Counsel Network   http://www.goodcounselnet.co.uk

 

EALING COUNCIL

Have your say on the proposed Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) outside Marie Stopes clinic, Ealing.

This consultation is open from Monday 29th January

until 5pm on Monday 26th March 2018

The Consultation

Ealing Council is asking for views on a proposed Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) outside the Marie Stopes clinic on Mattock Lane. The ‘safe zone’ is being

proposed in Ealing to stop harassment and intimidation for women visiting the clinic and also improve the quality of life for residents.

A PSPO acts as a tool with additional powers that council officers and the local police are able to use when needed to tackle anti-social behaviour within the area.

Please see the MAP showing the proposed area which is the length and breadth of Mattock Lane and will prohibit people within that area from congregating, displaying images and from approaching or monitoring people accessing the clinic.

Following the council’s research and investigation into the issue of behaviours of groups outside the clinic, a report was presented to cabinet members on Tuesday, 16 January 2018, where members agreed to proceed with an eight week consultation.

 

Your views

If you’re someone who works, visits or lives on Mattock Lane or the immediate surrounding areas and/or visits the clinic, then the proposed PSPO should be of interest to you.

The consultation will be open until 5pm on 26th March and seeks your opinion on the behaviours in the safe zone and how these may have had a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those who live, work in, or visit the area, as well as people using the clinic. Please read the full consultation document before completing an online survey to submit your views.

What happens next

Once the consultation has closed, the council will collate all the feedback and then present a report to cabinet to decide if a PSPO should be implemented. If approved, the PSPO will come into effect in April 2018.

Further information

For any help or questions about this consultation please email-

SaferCommunities@ealing.gov.uk

or call  020 8825 5994. You may also use this email address to send in your responses directly, however please ensure your responses relate to the questions asked in the consultation.

 

Ealing Abbey is not making a formal statement in relation to this issue.

D. Ambrose (parish priest)