English town bans cross-signing and holy water near abortion facility

English town bans cross-signing and holy water near abortion facility

The cross and prayer are now prohibited in public spaces near abortion clinics by an English authority.

A “safe zone” has been established around an abortion clinic in southern England by the Council of Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole.

Behind these lines, anybody seen crossing himself, reading Scripture, or dousing themselves with holy water faces a £100 ($113) fine or even legal action.

Gavin Ashenden, a well-known convert to Catholicism, tweeted: “Bournemouth 2022. Crossing oneself is now prohibited. Take a time to consider the ramifications.

To Ashenden’s remark, one Twitter user replied: “This is such clear anti-religious, anti-Christian animus.”

The council said in a news statement issued on October 11 that the choice to implement a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) was taken after consulting the general public.

Antisocial conduct is supposed to be stopped by a PSPO.

The consultation received 2,241 replies. According to the council’s press release, 75% of respondents agreed in principle with the implementation of a PSPO while 24% disagreed.

Councillor Bobbie Dove said in the statement that while she and her colleagues “acknowledge the right of anyone to conduct a peaceful protest, we had to balance this against the distress caused or likely to be caused, and the detrimental impact of behaviors experienced by those accessing medical services or performing their jobs.”

The order is in effect as of October 13 and is valid for three years.

The council prohibits a variety of actions under penalty of the PSPO, including “vigils when members openly pray, read Scripture, genuflect, sprinkle holy water on the ground, or cross themselves if they sense a service-user is passing by” from Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Intimidation and harassment of clinic employees are also prohibited, as are the display of “text or images relating directly or indirectly to the termination of pregnancy and or playing or using amplified music, voice, or audio recordings.” Protesting, which includes “prayer or counseling,” is another prohibited behavior.

By the time of publishing, CNA had contacted the Diocese of Portsmouth but had not heard back.

Some pro-lifers are worried about a number of issues in addition to the council’s ban.

The Bournemouth abortion facility was the subject of an inspection report that found a number of issues, which was brought to the public’s notice by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.

The abortion clinic administered by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) “did not always ensure the proper legal paperwork was completed” prior to surgical abortions being performed, according to the 30-page inspection report by the Care Quality Commission, an independent regulator.

The Bournemouth BPAS facility “did not always offer care and treatment following current national recommendations to ensure pregnancy remains were handled with respect,” the assessment said.

On Tuesday, a facility spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

“BPAS’s callous disregard for the body remains of aborted newborns has been discovered in yet another shocking study,” the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children said on October 13.

The campaign to create ostensible “safe zones” surrounding an abortion facility in Bournemouth is not unique.

A “censorship zone in Manchester will deprive pregnant women emotional and practical help,” according to Right to Life U.K. on October 9.

The freedom of religion or belief is a human right that is protected by international law, according to the United Kingdom’s government.

This includes “not simply the freedom to have personal beliefs and convictions, but also the right to express them alone or with others, publicly or in secret,” according to its own guidelines.

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