A mother plans to file a High Court challenge against Ealing Council’s order to implement a ‘buffer zone’ outside a Marie Stopes abortion clinic. Alina Dugheriu, who was herself helped by pro-life vigil members, will file her case after Ealing Council confirmed that the Public Space Protection Order will come into effect from 9 am on the morning of Monday, April 23. The order makes acts of approval or disapproval of abortion, prayer, or any kind of ‘interference’ towards clinic users within 100m (330ft) of the clinic a criminal offence.
The challenge comes after Ealing Council cabinet members decided to enforce a PSPO on Tuesday, April 10. The buffer zone has been introduced for a three year period which will be reviewed after six months.
Alina said: “My little girl is here today because of the real practical and emotional support that I was given by a group outside a Marie Stopes clinic. I am launching my legal challenge at the high court to ensure that all women at Ealing and across the country do not have a vital support option removed. In doing this I represent the thousands of women who have been helped by these vigils.”
She added: “It seems clear to me that Ealing Council has had a predetermined outcome in mind since last summer and despite the facts, has insisted on making this draconian order. Ealing Council could have taken action in a way that would have protected women and safeguarded the essential, life-saving help offered at the gate. Instead, they have criminalised charity and attempted to remove us from public space without justification.”
Elizabeth Howard, who supports mothers outside the Ealing abortion centre, said: “I support these mothers 100 per cent. It is shocking that Ealing politicians and the activists who are pressuring them have totally ignored their viewpoints. I look forward to an independent judicial review of the situation.”