Abortion censorship zones come into force in NI

Northern Ireland has now implemented censorship zones banning prayer and offers of help to pregnant women outside abortion clinics across the Province.

Starting today, all five Health and Social Care Trusts have zones criminalising anyone who hands out pro-life literature or speaks to anyone about abortion within a 100-250m radius of an abortion clinic or hospital.

In December, the UK Supreme Court rejected the NI Attorney General’s concerns that such zones were inconsistent with the right to peaceful protest, and the Abortion Services (Safe Access Zones) Act came into law earlier this year.


Speaking at the UK March for Life rally earlier this month, event co-director Isabel Vaughan-Spruce reflected on being arrested for silently praying within a council-imposed censorship zone in Birmingham.

“On the second time I was arrested I was told my prayers were an offence. I’ll tell you what is offensive, that our country has the highest ever abortion figures”, but “the only response we see happening in our government is a clamp down on those who peacefully offer alternatives to pregnant women”.

Although the police have decided not to press charges for the alleged incident, MPs backed the introduction of nationwide censorship zones in England and Wales last year.


In June, a Bill was submitted to the Scottish Parliament seeking to impose similar zones around hospitals and abortion centres in Scotland.

During First Minister’s Questions, Humza Yousaf guaranteed his Government’s support for the Bill.

Earlier this week, TDs backed the Republic of Ireland’s censorship zones Bill for further consideration in the Dáil. The Pro Life Campaign Ireland has branded it a “regressive and draconian piece of legislation“.

Also see:

Police end investigation into pro-lifer’s silent prayer

Mum ‘so grateful’ for healthy twins after refusing to abort one to ‘save the other’

MP: ‘Parents must not be sidelined over NI’s pro-abortion sex ed’

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