Help ensure that our thoughts cannot be criminalised!
Due in court for a thought?! We know free speech is already under threat, but the state has started prosecuting people for their silent prayers, too.
This must stop.
Adam Smith-Connor's court hearing is on November 16th. His “crime”? Bournemouth’s local authorities are taking the military veteran, husband, and father to court for “praying for his deceased son” [who lost his life at the hands of an abortion] within an abortion facility censorship zone.
Adam prayed silently and with his back to the facility.
In fact, if Adam had been praying about climate change or anything else, there would be no upcoming court date.
It wasn’t his actions that were unlawful but the contents of his thoughts, deemed as “express[ing] disapproval” of abortion.
He isn’t the first.
Ensuring that the Orwellian concept of ‘thought crime’ doesn’t become a reality, ADF UK supported Catholic priest Fr Sean Gough who was found “not guilty” after facing criminal charges for similar actions to Adam in a locally imposed buffer zone in Birmingham. Fr Sean was fully acquitted.
Isabel Vaughan-Spruce was also found “not guilty” on a previous occasion before she was arrested again. In September, West Midlands Police finally dropped their six-month investigation into her actions. They also issued an apology for the length of her ordeal.
But it will take more than an apology to protect free thought and speech.
As of now, five councils across the UK have active “buffer zones” or censorship zones banning prayer and offers of charitable help to women on the public streets near abortion facilities.
And sadly, in March, Parliament passed national censorship zone legislation, to be rolled out in January, which has been described as “the greatest attack on freedom and choice in the UK.”
The UK is becoming an international embarrassment due to these cases.
How can we, as a nation, champion human rights across the world and yet be the first Western country to criminalise thought and prayer?
Will you write to the Prime Minister to recognise the threat to freedom of thought and the slippery slope of allowing local authorities the power to create laws – without the oversight of Parliament?