Anti-abortion campaigner loses Stella Creasy poster ban appeal

Stella CreasyImage copyright
PA Media

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Stella Creasy previously said she had been targeted by the group for her pro-choice views

An anti-abortion campaigner has failed to overturn a ban on posting images of MP Stella Creasy alongside photos of a dead foetus in her constituency.

Waltham Forest Borough Council used a community protection notice (CPN) to remove the posters after they appeared in north-east London last October.

Christian Hacking called for the ban to be lifted on human rights grounds.

However, a judge dismissed the appeal, saying the CPN was “a proportionate response to the situation”.

Mr Hacking, 29, from south London, argued the 10ft by 10ft (3m by 3m) posters, which were put on display in Waltham Forest, had been designed to educate the public about abortion.

He told a two-day hearing at Stratford Magistrates’ Court in February campaigners wanted to expose “the reality of abortion to members of the public who don’t know what abortion looks like”.

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Several posters – including some featuring photos of live foetuses – were put on display in the borough

However, the appeal was turned down by District Judge Jonathan Radway during a hearing at Thames Magistrates’ Court.

In a written judgement, he said the “prolonged static display… of a deeply disturbing image which caused harm to some observers is beyond the margin of what freedom of expression requires, even for political speech”.

He said his ruling was “not about the rights and wrongs of abortion” but whether the CPN was “a proportionate response to the situation”.

“After anxious consideration, I have concluded it was,” he wrote.

Image copyright
Christian Legal Centre/PA Media

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Christian Hacking argued the posters were intended to educate the public

Waltham Forest Borough Council leader Clare Coghill welcomed the ruling, saying the authority had received “numerous complaints” about the “deliberately provocative material”.

Ms Creasy, who gave birth to her first child in November, previously told MPs she felt “harassed” by the campaign led by anti-abortion group CBRUK .

Neither she nor Mr Hacking attended the hearing.

BBC News

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