Abortion activists in the United Kingdom are looking to act fundamental human rights in order to pass ‘buffer zone’ laws which would limit what one can do, say, or even think on public streets surrounding abortion clinics. Europe is becoming increasingly hostile to the pro-life movement even after the historic Dobbs decision in America. The ‘buffer zone’ could land someone praying in front of an abortion clinic in jail for up to two years if passed. The law would ban “informing,” “advising,” “influencing,” “persuading,” and even “expressing an opinion” around places where women can obtain an abortion.
According to National Review:
Five local councils have set up these zones, with street signs eerily demarcating the areas where free speech is restricted, listing illegal activities ranging from outright protesting to quiet prayer. Per the signs, if you have the audacity to kneel, sprinkle holy water, or cross yourself while praying too close to an abortion clinic, you’ll soon find yourself a criminal under the law.
The reality is that buffer zones have nothing to do with harassment, and are entirely disconnected from valid and welcome efforts to protect women from harm. What buffer zones do is crush civil liberties, and prevent pro-lifers from making genuine offers of help to women entering abortion clinics.
Buffer zones, while absurd in and of themselves (as evidenced by the experience of the Bournemouth women), give rise to even greater legal absurdities, because they lack a logical end point. In Bournemouth, it’s now suspect to join together in quiet prayer beyond the perimeter of a restricted zone. What’s to stop that zone from being expanded to cover the entire town?
The freedoms of speech and expression are fundamental to a healthy society and Britain is looking to strip them away in order to protect the abortion industry.