Written by 4:40 pm In the News

Pro-lifer punished for praying

A Christian army veteran was criminally charged after praying silently near an abortion clinic.

Adam Smith-Connor, 49, has been charged under legislation designed to end pro-life witness outside of abortion facilities.

Poole Magistrates’ Court was due to hear the case of Adam Smith-Connor on Wednesday, but it was rescheduled for 18th January. Smith-Connor has expressed frustration after a court postponed his trial.

“It’s unbelievable that, in England 2023, the state sees it as appropriate to prosecute me for praying silently in a public space.”

Smith-Connor was praying silently in the vicinity of a clinic due to a deeply personal reason. He was praying for his son who was aborted 23 years ago.

“If anyone had seen me that day, they would have assumed I was waiting for a taxi or perhaps waiting for someone inside the abortion facility,” he explains. “It was only because I was honest when asked about ‘the nature of my prayer’ that I’m now being prosecuted. If I had said, ‘I was praying for friends killed in action serving the nation,’ I would have been left alone. I’m being prosecuted because I said I was praying for my deceased son Jacob, who died in an abortion 23 years ago.”

Smith-Connor has been on a long journey since that dark day.

Born in London, he was raised by his mother and later a stepfather; at age 18, Smith-Connor attended university in Birmingham, where he trained as a physiotherapist. In 1996, he joined the Territorial Army (British Army Reserve). Eventually, he would serve in Afghanistan. As part of his military medical training, he admits to having “assisted briefly in abortion theaters on two occasions.” He was then an atheist and viewed abortion as being “no more morally problematic than having a tooth extraction.”

With hindsight, he can see that even though he had paid for the abortion of his son and assisted in abortions while serving in the military, he had “never investigated the morality of abortion.”

A series of experiences brought him to a more fundamental understanding, making it clear to him “that all the science clearly shows that a whole distinct human being comes into existence at the moment of conception and, therefore, abortion deliberately kills that innocent human child.”

Christian religious freedom legal organisation ADF UK said it planned to ask the court to dismiss the prosecution on the basis of unfairness.

“While the judge referred to the complexities of the case as the reason for postponing, we must remember that the facts of Adam’s case are really very simple—he is being criminally charged for his silent prayer,” said Jeremiah Igunnubole, legal counsel for ADF UK.

“It is most unfortunate that this lengthy and gruelling process is continuing to impact Adam’s life, for only having prayed in
his head”.

He added: “It is deeply concerning for local councils to have the power to prosecute residents for alleged ‘thoughtcrimes’ in a free society”.

(Picture Courtesy: ADF UK)

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