Home Secretary: Stop Councils Criminalising Support Outside Abortion Centres for Women like Alina
On 23 April 2018, Ealing Council introduced a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) outside of an abortion centre in West London which made it a criminal offence to pray or offer support to women entering the centre. The PSPO prevents the local pro-life vigil from appearing within 100 meters of the clinic, despite over 20 years of the vigil operating peacefully without a single arrest.
Alina Dulgheriu, a mother who was personally supported by a pro-life vigil outside a London abortion centre, took the brave step of filing a legal challenge against the Ealing PSPO at the High Court in London. Alina argued that the right to free speech, the right to pray, the right to receive information and the right to assemble had all been violated by Ealing Council in passing the PSPO.
Although the High Court accepted that these rights had been infringed, it went on to uphold the PSPO, and ordered Alina to pay legal costs. Alina has now launched a crowdfunding page to raise the funds needed to appeal the High Court’s decision.
Announcing the launch of the crowdfunding page, Alina said: “I cannot imagine a society where a simple offer of help to a woman who might want to keep her child is seen as a criminal offence. I have done what I can. Now, I need your help. Without your strong financial support, an appeal will simply not be possible.”
The decision has large implications for pro-life vigils across the country, as abortion provider BPAS (British Pregnancy Advisory Service) has been campaigning to establish ‘buffer zones’ (or more appropriately, censorship zones) outside of abortion centres. The BPAS campaign has been run on the basis of many unfounded allegations which have completely mischaracterised the activities of vigil members.
Ealing was the first council ever to use a PSPO to criminalise activities such as prayer and offers of support, and other councils have been waiting to see what the outcome is there before introducing PSPOs of their own. The Home Office has also said that it is considering national legislation that would ban pro-life vigils from outside of abortion centres, and it has been watching the developments in Ealing closely.
Sign the petition now to raise your concerns with the new Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, and ask him to stop councils from banning prayer and offers of assistance outside of abortion centres.
To support Alina by giving to her legal fund visit her crowdfunding page: https://www.gofundme.com/alinalegalfun
Sign this petition now!
Petition to: Sajid Javid (UK Home Secretary)