NI abortion censorship zones to be imposed within three months

Northern Ireland is set to introduce censorship zones banning prayer and offers of help to pregnant women outside abortion clinics by September.

According to the Department of Health, every Health and Social Care Trust is set to introduce zones criminalising anyone who hands out pro-life literature or speaks to anyone about abortion within a 100-250m radius of an abortion clinic.

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 effect earlier this year.


Last month, a Bill was submitted to the Scottish Parliament proposing 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. The first vote is expected in October.

But The Christian Institute’s Scotland Officer Nigel Kenny emphasised: “Imposing buffer zones silences those who peacefully offer women compassionate alternatives to abortion.

“It denies women the opportunity to consider other responses to a crisis pregnancy that are less harmful to themselves and their baby.”

Also see:


Germany upholds right to peaceful prayer gatherings outside abortion centres

Abortion ‘buffer zones’ Bill submitted to Holyrood

RC Archbishop decries censorship of ‘respectful pro-life witness’ in NI

Related Resources