Catholic Birmingham Priest arrested by the police for going against PSPO after standing near an abortion clinic with a placard that read ‘Praying for free speech’.
A priest from Birmingham, Father Sean Gough, has been charged with four counts for failure to comply with a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO), known as a buffer zone. He was arrested based on intimidating visitors near an abortion clinic with a placard that says; ‘Praying for free speech’. He was also charged because his car was found in the buffer zone, and a sticker on it read; ‘unborn lives matter’.
Father Sean Gough was released a few moments after he was arrested and charges were dropped. However, he is seeking clarification on his rights. According to the Premier, the buffer zone was introduced by Birmingham City Council to ensure “people visiting and working there have clear access without fear of confrontation.”
Members of the parliament voted last November that the buffer zones be rolled out nationally, introducing them across England and Wales.
In a statement with Premier, Lois McLatchie, from religious freedom charity ADF International said these laws are not fit for purpose.
“I absolutely condemn any harassment towards women in any situation of life, let alone near an abortion facility, but what we need to understand is that these buffer zones go so far as to take out the bad and the good together.”
“We can rest assured that instances of harassment can already result in a prosecution, but buffer zones go so much further. “This is why it’s so important – especially for the Christian community to understand – is that it isn’t right for the Government to impose a law that goes so far as to ban prayer – even prayer in our heads.”