The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has commented after the publication of Labour MP Rupa Huq’s Bill to “restrict demonstrations in the vicinity of abortion clinics; and for connected purposes”, which proposes jailing pro-life people for six months if they express any opinion on abortion within 150 metres of an abortion clinic.
The bill, which was first debated in June, comes up for Second Reading today, Friday 25th September.
Alithea Williams, SPUC’s campaigns and parliamentary research assistant, said: “It is frankly staggering that Rupa Huq wants to hand out lengthy jail sentences to peaceful pro-life citizens for simply offering help to women in need. We are speaking out against Rupa Huq’s Bill because many women who go into an abortion clinic feel as though they have no choice. Only the presence of a pro-life person, right at the gate, can give them the last minute support they need to make a different choice. Seeking to ban this, let alone imprisoning people for showing compassion, is an act of abortion extremism.
“Moves to ban pro-life vigils by imposing buffer zones around abortion clinics are a shocking assault on freedom of speech and assembly,” Miss Williams continued. “However, what is more important is that buffer zones deny vulnerable women the vital chance to hear a different perspective, and to receive the help offered to choose life for their baby. We must keep the right to save lives.”
Amy, who had an abortion aged 18 after being assaulted by an ex-boyfriend, said: “The moments before my abortion took place, I was looking around the hospital, wondering if there was an alternative. I found nothing on that day, and unfortunately I went back and I went through with the abortion. And since that time, I’ve realised that what I was looking for was somebody, anybody, with an alternative…Sometimes you do just somebody to say ‘there is an alternative’ and here’s a number, here’s my number…If there had been somebody else there at that time, a pro-life vigil…I would have been there. I would have got some different advice and my story would have ended very differently.”
SPUC is gathering signatures for a petition calling on the Home Secretary/Scottish Justice Secretary to uphold the right of peaceful, law-abiding pro-life citizens to save the lives of unborn children and to offer help to pregnant women directly outside abortion clinics and to reject any measure to restrict this activity.
Picture: Labour MP Rupa Huq. ( John Stillwell/PA).