Yui Mok/PA Wire
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Christian mother fights back after High Court upholds prayer vigil ban

Thu 26 Jul 2018
By Tola Mbakwe

A Christian mother who lost a High Court legal challenge to allow prayer vigils outside a west London clinic has appealed the ruling.

Alina Dulgheriu has filed for permission in the Court of Appeal to appeal the High Court's decision to uphold the Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) outside a Marie Stopes Clinic, implemented by Ealing Council in April.

She said: "I have sought permission to appeal the High Court decision because I believe the law has been misapplied and has allowed for the unjust criminalisation of offers of support and silent prayer."

 

Ealing Council enforced the buffer zone following what it described as protests that intimidated, distressed and harassed women using the abortion clinic.

Pro-life campaign group, Be Here for Me, has denied the accusations and said campaigners pray and offer support and information for the clinic's patients.

The High Court decided to uphold the PSPO and dismiss the challenge on 2nd July.

Soon after, Dulgheriu launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £50,000 to fund appealing the ruling. She has raised more than £26,000 so far.

 

The mother, who was supported outside an abortion clinic years ago when she considered aborting her daughter, said the ban on prayer vigils will have "devastating ramifications for hundreds of women and for society at large if it is allowed to stand".

"I know how devastating the effect of this judgment will be because I received a loving offer of support when I needed it most, when I thought I had no other alternative," she said.

"Without this simple offer, I would not have my beautiful six-year-old daughter today. Since then, I have been privileged to join a compassionate, loving group of citizens who offer this same help to mothers in similar circumstances.

"Such offers of help have now been criminalised in Ealing on the basis of evidence that the High Court recognised was not of a criminal standard.

"Fundamental human rights, such as freedom of expression, the right to pray and the right to receive information have been undermined. How can we, as a society that recognises the value of these fundamental rights, allow this to happen?"

The Court of Appeal will now decide whether the High Court decision can be appealed.

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