UK: Charges dismissed against elderly woman arrested for praying outside abortion clinic
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – A 76 year-old woman who was arrested in Liverpool, England for praying silently near an abortion clinic has had the charges against her dismissed, CBN News reports.
Rosa Lalor was arrested during Britain’s COVID-19 lockdown in February 2021, CBN reports. She had been “walking and praying” silently near an abortion clinic when officers from Merseyside Police Department approached and asked her what she was doing outside. When Lalor told the officers she was praying, they pointed out she was not in a house of worship, and they accused her of holding a protest against the abortion clinic. They arrested her, detained her, and fined her.
Lalor enlisted the help of the Christian legal advocacy group ADF UK in challenging the charge and fine against her; she succeeded in showing Merseyside Police she had been acting within her rights and had a “reasonable excuse” to be outside praying in a public space, CBN said.
“I’m delighted that the prosecution has finally dropped this charge after a long and exhausting battle for justice. I took this challenge forward with support from ADF UK to show that we do all have a fundamental right to pray – not least pray as I did, in the privacy of my own mind,” Lalor said in a statement.
In a separate statement, Jeremiah Igunnubole, legal counsel for ADF UK, noted that Lalor’s ordeal followed a “worrying trend in law enforcement” whereby private citizens are arrested simply because their views are considered offensive.
“We’re thrilled to celebrate a victory for Rosa today, but it is deeply regrettable that this law-abiding woman was subjected to distressing, drawn-out criminal proceedings in the first place, no doubt due to her pro-life stance,” Igunnubole said.
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