MANCHESTER, England (CNS) — A former nanny has announced she will launch a legal challenge to quash the first “buffer zone” around a U.K. abortion clinic.
The 100-meter exclusion zone around the Marie Stopes clinic in Ealing, a section of London, took effect April 23. It means that anyone who prays openly, hands out pro-life literature or approaches clients of the clinic within the zone will be committing a crime.
Alina Dulgheriu, a native of Brasov, Romania, said that on April 26 she will appeal to a High Court judge to declare the move by Ealing Council as illegal. She claims there is no evidence that members of the Good Council Network, a pro-life group that hold vigils outside the clinic, has harassed women going for abortions.
The buffer zone, she said, infringes on human rights laws guaranteeing freedom of association, expression and freedom of religion, and also stops people offering help to women who feel abandoned.
“My little girl is here today because of the real practical and emotional support that I was given by a group outside the outside a Marie Stopes clinic,” she said in an April 23 statement emailed to Catholic News Service.
“I am launching my legal challenge at the High Court to ensure that all women … across the country do not have a vital support option removed,” she added. “I represent the thousands of women who have been helped by these vigils.”
Dulgheriu, 34, traveled to the U.K. in 2009 to work as a nanny to three boys of a family in London.
She told CNS in an April 18 telephone interview that in 2011 she found out she was pregnant, but the father pressured her to abort.
She booked herself into a Marie Stopes clinic but changed her mind when approached by a member of Good Counsel. The group, she said, found a new home for her when she was fired her from her job after her employer discovered she was four months pregnant.
Dulgheriu became a Catholic in 2014 and often offers counseling outside the Marie Stopes clinic in Ealing.
Ealing Council said in an April 10 statement that it is confident “that the need to provide safe, unimpeded access to the clinic in the safe zone can be balanced with the Equality Act and the European Convention on Human Rights.”
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