Our thoughts and prayers should not be criminalised!
Husband, father and army veteran, Adam Smith-Connor, 49, is challenging a council fine based on his admission: “I’m praying for my son, who is deceased.”
We’ve already seen Isabel, a charity volunteer, arrested and charged for silently praying near an abortion facility. And while we await Isabel’s court hearing next month, we at ADF UK are now assisting Adam, a military veteran who has been fined by local authorities.
His offence? Praying for his son, who died as a result of abortion 22 years ago, near an abortion facility in Bournemouth.
Like Isabel, Adam was standing still and silent on the public street for a few minutes before he was approached by community safety accredited officers.
A censorship zone or so-called “buffer zone” has been in place in the area since last October. The zone was implemented by local authorities through a Public Space 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 an area surrounding the abortion facility. The PSPO further prohibits religious acts, including reading scripture or crossing oneself.
Adam was issued his penalty fine on the basis of the PSPO, which the council state is specifically in relation to his admission that he had been “praying for his son, who is deceased”.
The attending officer responded, “I’m sorry for your loss. 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...”.
When Adam interjected, “I’m just standing praying,”, she again responded, “I do understand that. But the PSPO is in place for a reason and we have to follow through on those regulations.”
Does this sound like a free and democratic society to you?
Sign to demand that Suella Braverman personally intervenes and that all fines against Adam Smith-Connor are dropped.