Man Charged For Silently Praying in Abortion Clinic: An army veteran man has been charged by local authorities in Bournemouth for silently praying in an abortion clinic “buffer zone”
The rules guiding the buffer zone state that within 150m of the abortion clinic, it is unlawful to protest, intimidate, harass, or take pictures of clients or employees. Prayer, counseling, and providing assistance or information to women attending the clinic are also prohibited.
Adam Smith-Connor was issued a fixed penalty notice after he was reportedly in violation of the buffer Zones’ rule in November last year, reports Christian Today.
However, Smith-Connoe explained that he was silently praying for his dead son who was aborted over 20 years ago. He said he regret funding the abortion for his ex-girlfriend at the time and now spends time praying for others who have been impacted by abortion as well as those who are considering getting one.
ADF, which is representing Smith-Connor, said the charges “come as a surprise” after Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council refrained from pursuing prosecution within the statutory time limit. ADF says that police also previously informed Smith-Connor that he was not breaching any law.
His first hearing will hold on August 9 at Bournemouth Magistrates’ Court. At the court, the date for his trial will be set. It is however hoped that he plead “not guilty” at the hearing.
Reacting to his charges, Smith-Connor said “Nobody should be prosecuted for silent prayer. It is unfathomable that in an apparently free society, I am being criminally charged on the basis of what I expressed silently, in the privacy of my own mind.”
“I served for 20 years in the army reserves, including a tour in Afghanistan, to protect the fundamental freedoms that this country is built upon. I continue that spirit of service as a health care professional and church volunteer. It troubles me greatly to see our freedoms eroded to the extent that thought crimes are now being prosecuted in the UK.”