The High Court of England and Wales ruled Monday that a “no-prayer zone” around a London abortion clinic is legal, in a move expected to encourage the establishment of similar buffer zones in the United Kingdom.
In his decision, Mr. Justice Turner agreed that the ban interfered with pro-life activists’ human rights, but said it was legitimate for the council to conclude it was a “necessary step in a democratic society.”
“There was substantial evidence that a very considerable number of users of the clinic reasonably felt that their privacy was being very seriously invaded at a time and place when they were most vulnerable and sensitive to uninvited attention,” the judge said.
The “public space protection order” (PSPO) that mandated the buffer zone around the clinic in the London borough of Ealing was challenged by Alina Dulgheriu, a woman who was helped by people she met at a pro-life vigil. Dulgheriu is now the mother of a six-year-old girl.
“I am devastated for those women that since the introduction of the Ealing PSPO, have not been able to access the loving help that I did,” Dulgheriu said after the ruling. ““I am saddened and shocked that the Court has upheld a PSPO that prevents good people giving help to mothers who desperately want it.”
Mrs. Dulgheriu said she is considering other alternatives for appeal.