Rosa Lalor, 76, had her charges dismissed on Monday after she has been arrested while praying outside an abortion clinic in Liverpool, during the United Kingdom’s coronavirus lockdowns early last year.
The arrest occurred when she was seen praying near the abortion clinic back in February 2021, The Daily Wire reported.
Officers questioned her and said she did not have a reasonable excuse to be outdoors, adding that her actions were considered protesting, according to ADF UK, a group that supported Lalor.
After she challenged the charges, however, the “Merseyside Police have now conceded that such detention was wrong, and that Lalor was acting within her rights, indeed having a ‘reasonable excuse’ to be outdoors praying.”
Lalor said the officers need to, “respect basic religious freedom, and improve their understanding of how that right manifests, in order to maintain a truly tolerant society.”
“We’re thrilled to celebrate a victory for Rosa today,” ADF legal counsel Jeremiah Igunnubole stated. “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.”
“This follows a worrying trend in law enforcement,” he added. “Where individuals are routinely arrested simply because their views are considered to be controversial or offensive.”
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“40 Days for Life” International Director Robert Colquhoun called this victory an “important win, because authorities cannot simply decide to censor prayer on the street. We are committed to engaging in prayer because we believe that women and babies deserve far better than abortion, and that we can find solutions to support both lives in a pregnancy.”
As a response to this case — and other cases of people praying outside UK abortion clinics — the Liverpool and Bournemouth councils are currently considering new policies to prohibit pro-life volunteers from speaking to women on public streets near abortion facilities.
This would draw inspiration from a recent policy in Northern Ireland to “prohibit the act of ‘influencing’ within 100m” of an abortion clinic. That particular restriction is currently being argued in the UK Supreme Court.
Here in the United States, however, pro-life groups keep racking up sizeable victories following the repeal of Roe v. Wade.
So at least, for now, the fight for life continues across the pond — as both countries take a long look in the mirror and decide what sort of nation they wish to be headed into an uncertain future.
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