German pro-life activists have been granted the right to appeal a decision that upheld a ban on silent prayer vigils outside abortion clinics in the city of Pforzheim.
The group, 40 Days for Life, had organized the vigils outside of the local Pro Familia clinic twice a year every day for 40 days until the city prevented them from doing so two years ago, ADF International explains.
Organizer Pavica Vojnović procured all the necessary permits to hold the silent prayer vigils, which were held across the street from the clinic and entirely peaceful. The activists were even monitored by the police at the request of Pro Familia and no violations were found.
Still, the city sought to ban the vigils.
In May, the Catholic News Agency reports, the Karlsruhe Administrative Court upheld the municipal ban, but now, a Mannheim administrative court has granted the pro-life group the right to appeal the city’s restriction on their gathering.
However, this good news came at the same time that the nation’s coalition government announced plans to target “pavement harassment by anti-abortion activists” as well as expand access to abortions, which it characterizes as “reliable health care.”
“This is about more than our group in Pforzheim. It’s about whether prayer-free zones are lawful, or whether one is allowed to represent different opinions in the public square. That is why we will continue fighting for this freedom,” Vojnović told ADF.
“I want to be there to pray, not for myself, but for the vulnerable women contemplating abortion, and for their unborn children,” she also said. “This topic really touches my heart, as I know the pain of losing a child. Our society must offer better support to mothers in difficult situations. Every life is valuable and deserves protection. Surely a simple prayer for the vulnerable cannot be banned?”
Dr. Felix Böllmann, legal counsel for ADF International, poignantly asked, “What kind of society withholds prayer for vulnerable women and children?”
“By prohibiting even silent prayer near a pre-abortion counselling centre, the Pforzheim authorities have gone beyond what could be considered reasonable or proportionate,” he continued. “Freedom of speech is the foundation of every free and fair democracy. Pavica and her group have a deeply-held belief on abortion. To hold this belief is a fundamental right, as is the right to express this through peaceful assembly. Whether or not they agree with Pavica’s views, everyone can support the importance of these foundational protections.”
We are praying with Pavica and her group that their fundamental rights to pray for the lives of unborn babies may be protected, as well as for abortion to end in Germany, the United States, and around the world.
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