In spite of the recent passage of a buffer zone law in the areas of Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole (BCP), United Kingdom, a few brave pro-life activists are continuing to be a prayerful pro-life presence outside the local abortion facility. The Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) or buffer zone ordinance prohibits all forms of pro-life advocacy outside of the area’s British Pregnancy Advisory Service abortion facility, including prayer, leafleting, and even making the sign of the cross.
According to the Daily Echo, on November 25, a woman entered the buffer zone to pray — now a criminal offense. A spokesperson from the pro-abortion group Sister Supporter, which campaigns to implement buffer zone ordinances around abortion facilities in the UK, said, “One of the most persistent anti-abortion protesters from the anti-abortion group in Bournemouth has decided to breach the PSPO. This violation puts her at risk of a fine or ending up in front of a court. We need to make the council and police abundantly aware that while these people continue to harass pregnant people and infringe on our right to access abortion healthcare safely and privately, we will not quit making a fuss.”
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The Dorset police said they received a report of two pro-life advocates violating the PSPO on November 25 at 12:52 pm, but that these individuals had left before officers arrived on the scene.
Local police are working in partnership with what is known as the Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) Team, run by the BCP Council. According to the BCP Council’s website, “antisocial behavior” includes such things as playing loud music, smoking cannabis, dealing drugs … and, apparently, praying near an abortion facility.
A BCP Council spokesperson said: “The Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) team received complaints on Friday, November 25 from the clinic in Ophir Road in relation to people standing within the buffer zone.… In cases where officers have reason to believe the person is breaching the PSPO conditions they may be asked to move on. Failure to leave the area when requested is a breach of the PSPO and the necessary formal action will be taken by the ASB team.”
As Live Action News previously reported, the local chapter of 40 Days for Life is launching a legal challenge against the PSPO on the basis that it was “forced through following a questionable public consultation.”