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REX/Susannah Ireland
UK News

Catholic Church criticises 'dangerous' plans to ban abortion protests

The government is holding a review into the right to lobby or hold prayer vigils outside the centres.

One proposal would see a 'buffer zone' placed around the clinic meaning protesters wouldn't be allowed within a certain distance.

The review comes as Ealing Council in London looks set to ban the protests.

Bishop John Sherrington, the Bishop with responsibility for the Day for Life responded to the review saying: "There are members of the public, often associated with churches, who gather peacefully to pray outside abortion clinics and witness to the good of human life in a dignified way.

"In a democratic society the freedom to protest and express one's opinion is always to be considered in relation to the common good. It should not be necessary to limit the freedom of individuals or groups to express opinions except when they could cause grave harm to others or a threat to public order.

"There are already proportionate means in current legislation to deal with these situations.

"A blanket introduction of 'buffer zones' carries with it the danger of both denying freedom of expression and fostering intolerance towards legitimate opinions which promote the common good."

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