Those of you who receive emails from our friends at SPUC may well have already heard about the recent threat to pro-life vigils. If not then please take a few minutes to read this as it requires a response from each of us. This is a situation where spending a small amount of time on an email could make a huge difference but it needs us all to do our bit. Please do this as a matter of urgency as time is of the essence.
Rupa Huq MP has tabled an amendment to a Bill so that it would ban pro-life vigils outside abortion clinics. If passed, pro-lifers could face up to two years in prison if they ‘interfere with any person’s decision to access, provide, or facilitate the provision of abortion services in the buffer zone’ The text of the amendment can be seen here.
Could you send in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org so that this amendment is not accepted by the Committee.
Your submission should be set out in a Word or similar document and must include:
- Heading: Evidence re: Public Order Bill 2022.
- Your name and address.
- The points you want to make to the Committee.
- Number your paragraphs.
Keep your paragraphs fairly brief and to the point. Some examples of points you could make include (you don’t need to include all these);
1) An investigation into pro-life vigils was carried out in 2018 and it was decided that bringing in any kind of ‘buffer zone’ would be a disproportionate response.
2) Briefly state what really happens at Pro-life vigils (these are not protests) ie 2/3 people quietly praying offering a leaflet of help.
3) If what is alleged was happening was really happening then why would so many women have accepted help from these vigils and be continuing their pregnancies? Clearly it behoves the pro-lifers to ensure they are as approachable as possible.
4) There are already existing laws to deal with intimidation and harassment if this was happening.
5) The vigils can’t move elsewhere as is suggested. These groups already advertise online and with leaflets/posters etc but for many women who find out they’re pregnant an abortion centre is their first port of call even before a GP as they presume that abortion is their only option.
6) Who will lose out if ‘buffer zones’ were to happen – pregnant women who are already struggling and/or in vulnerable situations. The help pro-lifers provide is not offered or signposted by abortion providers who have a vested interest in abortion.
And of course, please pray for this and for protection for all the pro-life vigils that are happening around the UK. May those who peacefully provide help to women outside abortion centres be supported themselves not criminalised.