Nottingham 40 Days for Life welcomes ‘buffer zones’ decision

Nottingham 40 Days for Life welcomes ‘buffer zones’ decision

Nottingham 40 Days for Life has welcomed the decision by the Home Secretary not to introduce Buffer Zones around abortion clinics, which would have prevented people offering support and alternatives to abortion outside clinics.

Earlier in the year, 40 Days for Life carried out a prayer vigil outside QMC where over 1,000 abortions take place each year. All vigil participants pledge to act peacefully and offer support to women facing problem pregnancies.

Spokesperson Dr John Edwards commented, “I am delighted that the Home Secretary has taken a common sense decision not to prevent people praying peacefully outside abortion clinics. As Sajid Javed pointed out, the police already have powers to prevent any abusive behaviour. Nottingham police have consistently confirmed that our prayer vigil has always been completely peaceful and respectful. We don’t shout, display pictures or stop anyone accessing the QMC. Buffer zones would have been an attack on the fundamental rights to free speech in the UK and it is right that they have been rejected.”

In March, Nottingham City Council took out a secret injunction against Dr Edwards which prevented him from taking part in the prayer vigil outside QMC. The injunction was later comprehensively overturned in an appeal hearing in which the judge found that the vigil was “peaceful” and did “not come near to … unacceptable and unlawful behaviour”. Nottingham City Council subsequently agreed to pay costs to Dr Edwards.

Dr Edwards added, “We hope and expect that in the light of the Home Office decision and the Court ruling against them, Nottingham City Council will no longer seek to waste valuable council resources in any further attempt to restrict free speech and the right to pray publicly in Nottingham.”

For more information email or contact John Edwards on 07757 815 625 or Louise Aldred on 07866 950 343.