In a conclusion that would seem obvious to those of faith, the government in the United Kingdom has decided to end a case against a man who prayed in a “restricted” zone around an abortion business because officials decided they cannot regulate “thoughts directed toward God.”
Officials with the United Kingdom branch of ADF revealed that the case against Adam Smith-Connor has ended.
He was cleared months after getting fined for “silent prayer in an abortion facility censorship zone or ‘buffer zone,'” the organization reported.
“The Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council, tasked with enforcing Smith-Connor’s penalty, refrained from pursuing prosecution within the statutory time-limit,” the ADF reported. “This followed the police’s assessment that praying silently was not an offense in England and submissions by Adam’s legal team that the state had no power to restrict thoughts directed toward God.”
Smith-Connor, in a statement released by his legal team, explained, “Nobody should be criminalized for what they believe – especially not when they express that belief silently, in the privacy of their own minds. I’m glad that, in my case, common-sense policing won the day.
“However,” he continued, “it’s not right that I had to wait anxiously for a full six months for the authorities to determine my fate. The process, in essence, became my punishment.”
It was last Nov. 24 when “Community Safety-Accredited Officers” employed by BCP Council, were tasked with patrolling the abortion facility zone on Ophir Road and repeatedly grilled Smith-Connor regarding the content of his thoughts.
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“He was interrogated as to ‘the nature of his prayer’ with the view that he was in breach of local ‘buffer zone’ rules,” the report said.
Smith-Connor, who had lost a son to abortion 22 years earlier, said he was “praying for [his] son, who is deceased.”
He continued, “It’s unthinkable that I was issued a penalty simply for praying about my own experience of abortion – having paid for my ex-girlfriend to have one – and my son, Jacob, whom I lost. The decision I made all those years ago now grieves me deeply. It isn’t for the authorities to determine the contents of my thoughts on this matter, on a public street. I served in Afghanistan to defend democratic freedom – and yet, we see this encroachment on fundamental rights on the streets of Britain today.”
Police officers, when they got involved, actually pointed out that Smith-Connor was allowed to pray silently in a public place.
Despite that ruling, those “Community Safety” officers fined him, and threatened criminal charges when he refused to pay the fine over the “thought-crime.”
“But for the fact that he happened to be praying in his mind about abortion, Adam would not have been asked to leave,” explained Jeremiah Igunnubole, legal counsel for ADF UK.
Under the “buffer zone” law enforced at that location, “local authorities” declared it was criminal for engaging in “an act” or even “attempted act” of “approval/disapproval, with respect to issues related to abortion services, by any means.”
It specifically outlaws “prayer.”
The Christian Institute noted that just a few months ago, “pro-life campaigners arrested for praying silently near an abortion center in Birmingham were fully vindicated.”
In that case, a magistrate dismissed cases brought against Isabel Vaughan-Spruce and Roman Catholic priest Sean Gough, after the Crown Prosecution Service offered no evidence of criminal activity and dropped the charges.
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