Following the defeat of an amendment to the Public Order Bill that sought to lessen the impact of censorship zones on freedom of speech and thought, Stella Creasy MP released a video in which she gloated about introducing buffer zones, which will criminalise offering help to women outside abortion clinics.
Last week, MPs rejected an amendment to the Public Order Bill that sought to make clear that “consensual communication” and silent prayer would not be criminalised under the new law. MPs rejected the amendment by 298 to 117.
Following the defeat, Stella Creasy MP, a long-time supporter of removing abortion safeguards and a key player in forcing abortion on Northern Ireland against the will of the populace, released a video on Instagram celebrating the defeat of the amendment.
In the video, she ‘lip-syncs’ to the hit song ‘Livin’ on a prayer’ by Bon Jovi, alongside her colleague, Rupa Huq MP, who attempted to introduce censorship zones outside abortion clinics on numerous occasions over the past few years.
She released a similar video, ‘lip-syncing’ to ‘Like a prayer’ by Madonna, after an amendment introducing buffer zones outside abortion clinics passed through the House of Lords earlier this year. She tagged Rupa Huq MP and Baroness (Liz) Sugg, as well as the two major abortion providers, MSI Reproductive Choices (formerly Marie Stopes International) and BPAS, in her video.
Criminalisation of thought
Under the legislation as voted through by MPs, a clause in the Public Order Bill makes “influencing” any person who wants to access an abortion clinic illegal. Andrew Lewer MP was one among many MPs concerned that this vague term could make silent prayer illegal as well as consensual communication.
Andrew Lewer MP’s amendment sought to make it explicit in the legislation that silent prayer and consensual communication including offers of help would not be illegal. The rejection of his amendment leaves the legal situation unclear.
There already exist Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) that can be enforced by local councils and that ban certain activities, such as prayer. In Birmingham, a volunteer, Isabel Vaughan-Spruce, has now been arrested twice for silently praying outside an abortion clinic. She was cleared of all charges after her first arrest and, only a few weeks later, was arrested again on very similar charges.
Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said “Stella Creasy’s gloating is as callous as it is predictable. Sadly, this MP is convinced that denying women a choice outside abortion clinics, and criminalising thought will actually help women. However, limiting their options, preventing them from being offered alternatives to abortion and criminalising others who wish to help will not do anything for women seeking abortions and certainly will not do anything for their unborn children.”