Veteran Fined After Praying in 'Censorship Zone' Outside Abortion Clinic – Report
Twenty-two years ago, Adam Smith-Connor made a decision he regrets. The child his girlfriend was carrying was killed in an abortion he paid for; one he drove her to obtain.
For Smith-Connor, the life never lived became the burden that could never be lifted. With that in mind, last November he went to a Bournemouth, England, abortion clinic to pray.
The police gave him a scolding and sent him away. Then came a 100-pound fine for admitting to police he was praying for his son. And then came the fight back in the name of his son.
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This month, video of his confrontation hit social media. The incident has mushroomed into a full-scale controversy in Britain, where what are called Public Spaces Protection Orders are being created around abortion clinics. One of the banned activities is prayer, silent or aloud, according to Christian Today.
The Alliance Defending Freedom has stepped up to support Smith-Connor, who has told his side of the story
“Twenty-two years ago I drove my ex-girlfriend to a facility and paid for her to have an abortion. It was a pivotal moment in my life. The consequences of my actions that day came back to grieve me years later, when I realized I had lost my son Jacob to an abortion I had paid for,” the 49-year-old physiotherapist who lives in Southampton said, according to the UK Daily Mail.
“Recently, I stood outside a similar facility and prayed to God for my son Jacob, for other babies who have lost their lives to abortion, for their grieving families, and for abortion clinic staff. I would never have imagined being in a position to risk a criminal record for praying silently,” he wrote.
Smith-Connor said abortion darkens the souls of all involved.
“In the past, I assisted with abortions in hospital as part of my army medical training, but now I pray for those who perform abortions because I realize how harmful abortion is to women and families, and that every single human life is valuable – no matter how small,” he said.
“Most of all, I’m moved to pray because of what happened to my son, Jacob,” he said.
Smith-Connor has a 10-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old daughter, the Mail reported, and served for 20 years in the military.
Jeremiah Igunnubole, Legal Counsel for ADF UK, said it is defending Smith-Connor because “Nobody should be criminalized for what they believe – especially not when they express that belief silently, in the privacy of their own minds,” according to Fox News.
He said Smith-Connor and Isabel Vaughan-Spruce, a pro-life advocate cited for presumably praying near an abortion clinic, “could now face prosecution for holding thoughts, and lifting those thoughts to God in prayer, within a censorship zone.”
“The rapid proliferation of orders criminalizing volunteers such as Adam and Isabel should be a wake-up call to all those who value freedom of expression – even freedom of thought – no matter their views on abortion,” said
On its website, the ADF is collecting signatures on a petition calling on Britain’s home secretary to stop what the petition calls “censorship zones.”
The British Pregnancy Advice Service clinic outside of which Smith-Connor prayed said it upheld the action of police to remove him.
“BPAS strongly supports the PSPO in Bournemouth. It is the right tool to tackle anti-abortion clinic harassment, as no other anti-social behavior tools, or related legislation, have proven effective at addressing this action,” according to the Dorset Echo.
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