The president of the Spanish Family Forum, Ignacio García Juliá, said the bill is an ideological measure which reinforces the law of the strongest, and a protectionist measure of a very particular oligopoly.
The group also said that the bill “not only protects spurious interests not based on the common good, but also channels it through the power of the State, curtailing fundamental rights, such as the freedom of speech or assembly of all citizens, since any of them could go to an abortion clinic to chat tranqilly and to offer their support to the woman who is considering an abortion.”
Thus "fundamental rights for the existence of a free and democratic society" are diminished, the pro-life organization said.
Bishop José Ignacio Munilla Aguirre of San Sebastián on Twitter encouraged people to share a video that shows a young child tenderly cuddling a baby sibling and singing a nursery rhyme "as a fitting response to the gag law that aims to eliminate in Spain any form of pro-life presence in the vicinity of abortion clinics.”
Several locales have in recent years considered or adopted “buffer zones” around abortion clinics that limit free speech in the protected areas.
Pro-choice activists in 2020 called on the Scottish government to ban prayer and public discussion of abortion in the vicinity of the country’s abortion clinics.
Proposals for buffer zones around abortion clinics throughout England and Wales were rejected as disproportionate by the then-British Home Secretary in September 2018, after finding that most abortion protests are peaceful and passive.
Sajid Javid said that after reviewing the evidence, which included “upsetting examples of harassment … what is clear from the evidence we gathered is that these activities are not the norm, and predominantly, anti-abortion activities are more passive in nature.”
The typical activities of those protesting outside of abortion clinics in England and Wales “include praying, displaying banners and handing out leaflets,” Javid noted.
In England, a buffer zone was imposed by Ealing Council, in west London, around a Marie Stopes abortion clinic in April 2018. The zone prevents any pro-life gathering or speech, including prayer, within about 330 feet of the clinic.
The Ealing buffer zone was cited by Javid as an example of a local government using civil legislation “to restrict harmful protest activities,” rather than a nationwide policy.
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Shortly after the Ealing buffer zone was adopted, Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth said that “to remove from the environment of the abortion clinics alternative voices is to limit freedom of choice … The imposition of ‘no-prayer zones’ outside clinics – I mean prayerful vigil, not militant or disruptive action – is unhelpful, unjust and unnecessary,” Bishop Egan said.