United Kingdom: “Buffer Zones”, buffer zones around abortion clinics. Archbishop Sherrington, Is prayer and dialogue a crime?

“There is a real danger that prayer, silent presence and communication with women who want abortions or the fact that they are being offered assistance will become crimes,” with the eventual application of this legislation. With these words, Bishop John Sherrington, Chair of the Life Sector of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, expressed his concern about the vote by which the Westminster Parliament had legalized so-called “buffer zones”, buffer zones of 150 metres, around clinics where abortion was practiced and which It is not possible to pray and talk to women. Indeed, the Westminster Parliament rejected, by 299 votes to 116, the amendment proposed by pro-life MP Andrew Lower, which would have allowed pro-life activists to pray and approach women in “buffer zones”. Bishop Sherrington wrote: “We are against any form of harassment of women who have decided to have an abortion but are already protected by current legislation.” We are concerned that the new law could be discriminatory against those who believe. There is also a risk that the consequences of the just-completed law will extend beyond the buffer zones. They put question marks about the powers of the state over the individual in a free society, of believers and unbelievers.”

Earl Warner

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