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UK authorities fine man for praying silently outside an abortion clinic

Back in December, we posted a video showing U.K. police arresting a woman who was praying silently across the street from an abortion clinic. The abortion clinic was protected by a Public Spaces Protection Order, which, as you’ll see in this video, makes it a crime to pray or even exhibit “acts of disapproval” outside an abortion clinic. Neither of these people was carrying a sign or even speaking; they were praying — and abortion clinics are protected against people praying near them.


(Apologies for the wind noise.)https://twitter.com/MaryMargOlohan/status/1616093622906097669

We imagine that even if you didn’t say you were praying, you’d be moved along, as you standing there could cause a woman to rethink her abortion.

The faith-based ADF UK reports:

A censorship zone or “buffer zone” has been enforced since 13 October 2022. The zone was implemented by local authorities through a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) which criminalises engaging in “an act” or even “attempted act” of “approval/disapproval, with respect to issues related to abortion services, by any means. This includes but is not limited to graphic, verbal or written means, prayer or counselling” within the area surrounding an abortion facility. The PSPO further prohibits religious acts, including reading scripture or crossing oneself. See the full PSPO terms here.

Smith-Connor has now been issued a fine on the basis of the PSPO. The Council stated in their email that the fine is based on his statement that he had been “praying for his son, who is deceased”.

ADF UK is supporting Smith-Connor and has engaged a legal team to challenge his fine.


So … in the U.K., they put up signs around abortion clinics marking the area as a safe zone within which you are not allowed to pray silently.


She would be remiss is she didn’t ask him what he was praying about.

The U.S. has the FACE Act, but at least you can hold a sign across the street from an abortion clinic.


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