‘I never imagined that I would need to take action at the High Court of the United Kingdom, a country famous for upholding the rights that make democracy flourish,’ said citizen Alina Dulgheriu.
What prompted this action? The criminalization of prayer outside of the Marie Stopes clinic in the London Borough of Ealing.
The Ealing Council enacted a public spaces protection order (PSPO) that makes it a crime to engage in ‘any act of approval/disapproval or attempted act of approval/disapproval, with respect to issues related to abortion services, by any means.’
That’s broad, to say the least.
This means that even private conversations between family members on abortion are covered. If you listen to a voicemail on your speakerphone that discusses abortion, watch out. You could be charged, too.
To enact a PSPO, councils ask two questions:
Do the activities in question have a ‘detrimental effect’ on the quality of life?
Is it reasonable and proportionate to enact the proposed measure in response?
Since governments have never acted unreasonably in restricting speech, citizens of Ealing obviously have nothing to worry about…But of course they do!
Laws like the one in Ealing are ripe for abuse. It’s also the result of an effort to ban any pro-life protest outside of the Marie Stopes clinic.
Alina Dulgheriu knows what it is like to participate in a protest outside of a London abortion clinic. That’s why she has launched her fight against the PSPO. ‘I never expected a local council in the UK to make a decision that violates so many human rights; the right to free speech, the right to pray, the right to receive information and the right to assemble,’ Alina said.
The PSPO purges the area of pro-life volunteers, and sets a precedent for which there is no logical stopping point.
The number of fundamental human rights that laws like these violate is staggering. Like Alina says, PSPOs like this one violate the right to free speech, which is represented in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948; the right to pray, which is represented in Article 18 of the UDHR; and the right to assemble, represented in Article 20 of the UDHR.
With human rights violations come violations to human dignity. Alina Dulgheriu is not just standing up for her right to speak, pray, and assemble—she’s standing up for her (and others’) inherent dignity. Alina is human, right?
Will you join us?
On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ADF International reaffirms the fundamental understanding that human rights are based on the inherent dignity of each person.
Join us in the promotion and protection of your fundamental freedoms today.
Add your voice by signing The Geneva Statement on Human Rights at www.ImHumanRight.org