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Alina Dulgheriu with her daughterAlliance Defending Freedom

EDINBURGH, Scotland (Alliance Defending Freedom) — Alina Dulgheriu, a mother who received help at her point of critical need outside an abortion facility, has asked the Scottish government to consider vulnerable women before censoring pro-life help in Scotland.

Dulgheriu credits pro-life volunteers with empowering her to make her wanted choice to continue her pregnancy despite financial and social pressures placed on her to abort.

READ: Alabama’s new IVF law ‘slams the door’ on protections for the most vulnerable: pro-life leaders

She has since established the “Be Here For Me” campaign, collecting testimonies of other women who have been positively impacted by the presence and services offered by charitable pro-life volunteers. Dulgheriu called on the Scottish government to allow volunteers to continue the work that she views as “much needed” in order to support vulnerable women.

“I didn’t want an abortion but I was abandoned by my partner, my friends and society. My financial situation at the time would have made raising a child very challenging. Thanks to the help I was offered by a group outside of a clinic before my appointment, my daughter is here today. Stopping people from offering much-needed services and resources for women in my situation is wrong. Let them help,” Dulgheriu commented on the implementation of censorial “buffer zones.”

Addressing parliamentarians on the Health, Social Care and Sport committee, Dulgheriu explained that the buffer zones bill would be “deeply patronising” to women by denying them an opportunity to hear and consider options to continue their pregnancy with charitable support.

It is worrying that we will consider denying vulnerable woman access to potential life-changing, life changing information – especially when facing one of the most challenging decision of their lives that could have lasting ramification on their mental and physical health.

Removing the option to receive help to keep a child in case we feel offended is deeply patronising and assumes that woman can’t make a decision for ourselves or that we might choose the wrong option.

My case is not a one-off. There are many hundreds of women just like me who have benefitted from this support. Yet we are all too often ignored.

In a Q&A with Members of the Scottish Parliament, Dulgheriu went on to explain that the help she had received from pro-life volunteers had not been offered by the abortion provider whom she had asked about her options.

Promote ‘tolerance, not censorship,’ asks woman arrested for silent prayer

The charitable volunteer, who was arrested for praying silently in a controversial “buffer zones” case in Birmingham, testified to Holyrood about her experience of being prosecuted for a “thoughtcrime.”

Isabel Vaughan-Spruce was seen being arrested on a viral video last winter when she said she “might be praying inside [her] head”. She was charged with “engaging in an act that is intimidating to service users” within the buffer zone of an abortion clinic – despite the clinic having been closed.

READ: UK’s National Health Service to stop prescribing puberty blockers to gender-confused children

She was later fully acquitted at Birmingham Magistrates Court after the prosecution could offer no evidence as to her thoughts.

Addressing the parliamentarians, Vaughan-Spruce said:

After having to clear my name in court I was rearrested two weeks later being told ‘my prayers were an offence.’ I’m concerned that this will end up happening in Scotland. Nobody should be punished for a ‘thoughtcrime’ – yet this proposed legislation could easily allow that to happen.

The buffer zone has created a huge amount of division in our area, and many locals tell me that they are now fearful to share their beliefs with their neighbours. The community has become polarised and the buffer zone has fostered intolerance.

I wholly recommend that the Scottish government protect freedom of thought and of speech in Scotland, and promote tolerance rather than censorship.

The bill has received criticism from free speech advocates, who raise concern that the vague and ambiguous language of the text could crack down on peaceful conversation and even thought.

“Scotland’s buffer zone bill is one of the most extensive crackdowns on pro-life thought and speech we’ve seen. As drafted, it could even ban prayer and peaceful pro-life speech within homes if they are situated sufficiently near an abortion facility. The proposal would also allow the 150m distance of the buffer zone to be expanded by local authorities to an unlimited extent. It is vital that the parliament take heed of the stories of Alina and Isabel, and uphold their duty to protect freedom of thought, offers of help, and consensual conversation,” said Lois McLatchie Miller, spokesperson for ADF UK in Scotland.

Reprinted with permission from Alliance Defending Freedom.