Second bystander ensnared by English ban on prayer outside abortion clinics – Catholic World Report

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by
Adam Smith-Connor was fined for “praying for [his] son, who is deceased” near an abortion facility in Bournemouth, England. / ADF UK

Denver, Colo., Jan 22, 2023 / 05:00 am (CNA).

Amid continuing controversy over strict limits on behavior outside abortion clinics in some English cities, a man faces a fine for praying silently outside one clinic in memory of his dead son.

“I would never have imagined being in a position to risk a criminal record for praying silently,” Adam Smith-Connor said, according to the legal group supporting him, Alliance Defending Freedom UK.

Smith-Connor had approached a British Pregnancy Advisory Service abortion facility in Bournemouth, in the southwest English county of Dorset. He intended to pray for his unborn son, who had died in an abortion he helped procure at a similar facility more than two decades ago.

Smith-Connor stood silently with his back to the clinic to respect the privacy of staff and visitors, according to Alliance Defending Freedom UK. Community safety officers inquired about what he was doing, and Smith-Connor replied: “Praying for my son, who is deceased.”

His Nov. 24, 2022, encounter with the officers was recorded on his phone.

“I’m sorry for your loss,” one officer replied. “But ultimately, I have to go along with the guidelines of the Public Space Protection Order, to say that we are in the belief that therefore you are in breach of clause 4a, which says about prayer, and also acts of disapproval …”

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Second bystander ensnared by English ban on prayer outside abortion clinics – Catholic World Report

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