London, England, Jul 16, 2019 / 10:44 am America/Denver (CNA).
The Court of Appeal of England and Wales is hearing a challenge Tuesday and Wednesday to a buffer zone banning pro-life gatherings and speech near a London abortion clinic.
Three judges of the appellate court are hearing Dulgheriu and Orthova v. London Borough of Ealing July 16-17.
In April 2018, Ealing council passed a public space protection order that effectively bans public prayer and counselors who assist women within 330 feet of the Marie Stopes UK West London Centre, a leading abortion provider in London which performs around 7,000 abortions annually.
The PSPO was challenged by Alina Dulgheriu, who chose to forgo an abortion at the Ealing clinic after being offered pro-life support and who is now regularly involved in vigils run by the Good Counsel Network outside the clinic, and Andrea Orthova.
The High Court of England and Wales upheld the buffer zone in a July 2018 decision. While Justice Turner found that the ban interfered with the human rights of pro-life protesters, he ruled that the local government had a right to decide it was a “necessary step in a democratic society."