UK Police Dept. Drops Charges Against Elderly Woman Arrested for Praying Outside Abortion Clinic

The 76-year-old woman was praying silently.

QUICK FACTS:
  • Charges were dropped in the case of 76-year-old Rosa Lalor who was arrested for silently praying outside an abortion clinic.
  • Lalor was praying outside the clinic in February 2021 during a time when coronavirus protocols were still in place.
  • Law Enforcement asked why she was outdoors during lockdown implementation, and she informed police she was “walking and praying.”
  • Officers cited her for not having a “reasonable” excuse to be outside walking and praying because she was not at a church.
  • Lolar was defended by the Alliance Defending Freedom United Kingdom (ADF UK), who said in their Monday statement that the Mereyside Police department dropped the charges.
LALOR’S RESPONSE TO THE CHARGES:
  • case summary by ADF UK stated that “during the lockdown in 2021, Rosa was always careful to follow the rules.” Specifically, she “took a walk most days, as was permitted, and even wore a mask, which wasn’t required, in order to take extra precautions.”
  • “I’m delighted that the prosecution has finally dropped this charge after a long and exhausting battle for justice,” Lalor said in a statement. “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.”
  • “It was wrong for the police officer to tell me that I could not pray in a public street,” she added. “It’s important for officers to respect basic religious freedom, and improve their understanding of how that right manifests, in order to maintain a truly tolerant society.”
BACKGROUND:
  • During its legal challenge to the charges, ADF UK argued that Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights gives Lalor the right to pray at the clinic.
  • Article 9 declares: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.”