Judge calls images of aborted babies ‘deeply disturbing,’ upholds ban on pro-lifer showing them

The judgement found this did interfere with Christian Hacking's legal right to freedom of expression, but that the interference was justified because some members of the public found the images disturbing.
Wed May 6, 2020 - 6:11 pm EST
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Christian Hacking. Christian Concern / YouTube

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LONDON, May 6, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A U.K. judge described images of abortion as “deeply disturbing” as he upheld a ban prohibiting a pro-life campaigner from showing large images of butchered unborn babies in the constituency of one the U.K.’s most stridently pro-abortion politicians.

Christian Hacking, an employee of Centre for Bioethical Reform UK (CBR UK), was appealing a Community Protection Notice (CPN) issued to him on October 3, 2019 by Waltham Forest London Borough Council for showing pictures of babies killed by abortion in MP Stella Creasy’s constituency. 

“I am deeply disappointed that our appeal to show the reality of abortion to the people of Waltham Forest has not been successful,” Hacking said in response to today’s ruling.

“The real victim of abortion is not MP Stella Creasy, or the those negatively impacted by its visualisation, but the unborn child,” he continued.

“How can we see positive change in the UK if politicians and councils are allowed to dictate how we express peaceable opinions in public? For the sake of the unborn and for freedom of speech we must take this appeal further and hold those authorities to account.”

Creasy was instrumental in introducing abortion legislation into Northern Ireland last year.

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, which is supporting the case, said that activists must be free to make the public aware of the horrific reality of abortion.

“The ruling hinges on the idea that this image, showing the tragic reality of abortion, causes significant and lasting emotional harm,” Williams said.

“But however uncomfortable the truth, we must be free to make these distressing realities known – or the vastly more horrific truth of abortion becomes immune to criticism.”

‘Abortion is by its nature a graphic deed’

A press release from the Chrisitian Legal Centre says that the judgment found that the CPN issued to Hacking did interfere with his legal right to freedom of expression, but that the interference was justified because some members of the public found the images disturbing.

“There is a high bar to restricting free speech,” Williams said. 

“Freedom of speech must include, and has been ruled in law to include, that which is shocking, provocative and offensive,” she continued. 

“Graphic images of cancers are used in government advertising to persuade people not to smoke, for example. Abortion is by its nature a graphic deed. It is a bloody destruction of a human life. This is what was being exposed.”

Michael Robinson, director of  communications for U.K. pro-life group the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), told LifeSiteNews that the ruling trampled on the rights of campaigners.

“A fundamental value in our society is the freedom of expression,” Robinson said.

“It is a sad indictment of how illiberal the establishment has come that it sides with an influential public figure to trample the rights of those she disagrees with,” he continued. 

“This ruling exposes the double standard where any offense seems to be permitted against traditional values, but those fighting against the wickedness of abortion are measured by a different standard. The judge claims the image of a [fetus] is deeply disturbing. What is actually disturbing is the destruction of a human life at that stage, which the CBR campaigners are trying to prevent.”

  abortion, abortion victim imagery, christian hacking, united kingdom

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