Pro-lifers have accused Manchester City Council of trying to “suppress and silence” the pro-life voice after the local government authority proposed plans to impose a buffer zone outside an abortion clinic in one of the city’s vibrant suburbs.
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) pointed out that introducing a controversial Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) around a Marie Stopes clinic on Wynnstay Grove in Fallowfield, an area of the city with a very large student population, would block women from hearing the pro-life voice, as well as offers of support and information.
The pro-life group argued that this would inevitably prevent women in a crisis pregnancy from making a “fully informed choice”, despite pro-abortion campaigners wrongfully claiming to stand up for a woman’s choice, even going so far as to unjustly self-title themselves ‘pro-choice’.
Manchester City Council has previously supported plans for zones outside abortion clinics and recently launched a consultation on a PSPO for streets around the Marie Stopes clinic located in the south Manchester suburb.
Similar bans have been introduced in two London boroughs – Ealing and Richmond.
The proposals for the PSPO comes following claims that pro-life groups have intimidated staff and women going into the clinic. However, one pro-life campaigner outside the Fallowfield clinic dismissed the allegations, saying the pro-lifers were “very shy people” who just want to help and support vulnerable women.
“We’re not intimidating. We’re all very shy people that come here and we come because killing babies isn’t exactly the best thing in the world and because we know how women suffer after having an abortion. We’re just here to help,” Aileen Power, of 40 Days For Life, told BBC North West Tonight.
Meanwhile, SPUC said the abortion industry is at the heart of these calls for buffer zones, as they will censor the pro-life voice of truth, allowing the abortionists to continue their business.
“What we are witnessing in Manchester is part of a sinister cultural shift where the basic tenants of freedom and democracy and being gradually dissolved. At the heart of this is the abortion industry, which needs to suppress the truth in order to allow its business to continue,” Grace Browne, SPUC’s communications officer, told The Catholic Universe.
“The discussions now on-going in Manchester, are part of the growing onslaught to suppress and silence pro-life people and their message.
“As we have witnessed in other areas of the country such as Ealing and Richmond, a censorship zone not only strips people of their basic freedoms to speech and assembly, but it also blocks pregnant women from receiving the support and information which they are entitled to,” Ms Browne continued.
“A censorship zone blocks women from receiving, support, information and ultimately choice. If we truly were a society that supported a woman’s right to choose, we would not be blocking her from receiving the information which allows her to make a fully informed choice.”
Robert Colquhoun, international director of 40 Days for Life, told The Catholic Universe: “40 Days for Life organise peaceful, prayerful and legal prayer vigils outside abortion centres. We have witnessed hundreds of women scheduled for an abortion choose life thanks to the offer of compassionate and loving support outside abortion centres in the United Kingdom since 2010.”
The public consultation on the proposed PSPO will be open until 15th November.
To take part in the consultation see: https://secure.manchester.gov.uk/info/200024/consultations_and_surveys/7836/wynnstay_grove_proposed_public_space_protection_order_consultation
Picture: Screengrab of pro-lifers outside Marie Stopes in Fallowfield from BBC North West Tonight. (BBC).