Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child.

SPUC is a grassroots campaigning organisation.

We defend the right to life from the moment of conception until natural death.

We do this by spreading our message far and wide right across the UK -

educating, inspiring and empowering people to get involved so that we can achieve real change.

Dear SPUC supporterHave you filled in the Home Office’s consultation on buffer zones guidance yet? As a reminder…In May 2023, the Public Order Bill, which had been amended to include a clause introducing buffer zones around abortion facilities in England and Wales, received Royal Assent. The section of the Bill which deals with buffer zones, Section 9, has not yet been put into effect.

The Home Office has now published draft guidance on enforcing section 9 and is consulting on it. We oppose the entire concept of buffer zones, as an illiberal attack on freedom of speech for pro-life people, and a cruel denial of help to women in need.

However, the legislation is now in the statute book and will be enforced in some form. The draft guidance actually goes a long way towards mitigating some of the most egregious implications of the buffer zones law. I

t reaffirms that silent prayer is an absolute right under the Human Rights Act 1998 and appears to leave space for offering help and information to women in need. Very tellingly, the abortion lobby is furious about the guidance. MSI says that the guidance is “disappointing and, in places, deeply concerning”. They complain about the assertion in the guidance ‘that “informing” or “offering help” and “discussion” outside clinics would ever be “consensual” in any meaningful sense’ and take issue with the idea that ‘so-called “silent prayer” has special protections under the Human Rights Act 1998’. BPAS says that it “fundamentally undermines the law that was passed by Westminster” and that by mentioning signage designating the zones it is introducing “another unjustified and additional hoop to be jumped through”. They are calling both on their supporters to respond to the consultation and oppose the guidance. It is therefore very important that pro-lifers respond to the consultation, to ensure that the finished document is as good as possible. Please complete the consultation and encourage others to do so. To help you with the questions, we have produced a guide you can refer to. The consultation runs until 22 January 2024.

Helpful GuideRespond to Consultation

Thank you for campaigning with us.With best wishesAlithea WilliamsPublic Policy Manager

Will be taken in this parish in January