UK police says woman praying alone outside abortion center violated COVID restrictions

UK police says woman praying alone outside abortion center violated COVID restrictions

In measures taken supposedly in the name of public health, U.K. police removed an elderly lady praying outside her local abortion clinic, escorted her home in the police van, and claimed she was too far from home with no reason to be outside. Police said she would be fined for a breach of COVID regulations.

Rosa Lalor was taking part in the regular 40 Days for Life pro-life witness, holding a peaceful prayer vigil near a British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) center in Liverpool, when she was removed by the police and ordered to go home.

Under the current stringent restrictions in England’s national lockdown, people are only allowed outside for select reasons. Among the limited but non-exhaustive list are reasons such as offering charitable services and taking daily exercise, which can be done with no more than one other person.

As a result, no more than two people at a time have been conducting the pro-life vigil, in order to stay within the permit of the law.

Since the pro-life vigil started on February 17, however, there has been regular police presence outside the BPAS center, with police vehicles driving past or watching the pro-lifers, reportedly due to being summoned by BPAS staff.

On Wednesday, Lalor was alone outside the abortion facility, wearing a mask, and praying as she walked around. Shortly after 9 am, a police van passed her and photographed her, before she was approached by two police officers, and two police community support officers, demanding to know why she was outside her home.

Lalor defended herself, explaining that she was not simply standing still, but moving around continuously in order to complete her daily exercise. Living less than three miles away, she was adhering to the government’s guidance which stated that people “should not travel outside your local area.”

She pointed also to a number of men waiting outside the BPAS center to collect their wives or girlfriends who emerged from the building, asking why the police were not questioning them. Lalor stated that the officers claimed not to see anyone else, and that they further added that abortions were essential services.

Making the claim that Lalor was 8 miles from home, the officers announced that she would receive a fixed penalty notice of £200 for being in violation of COVID regulations. They mentioned that she had passed other places on the way to BPAS, where she could have performed her exercise. Since the start of the current lockdown in England, over 27,000 such fixed penalty notices have been handed out by police, in data figures running from January 6 to February 14.

In order to comply with the regulations, which are put in place in an effort to reduce the spread of infection, Lalor was then taken home along with the officers in the police van, instead of being allowed to walk home on her own.

The police also directed Lalor to warn others planning to take part in the pro-life witness, that they could be fined or arrested for what would be deemed a violation of COVID regulations.

Lalor plans to refuse the fine, and is prepared to challenge the issue in court.

While deeming abortions essential, but not prayer, the police appear to interpret the law according to particular desires, rather than in accord with the actual legislation: One need only have a “reasonable excuse” in order to leave home, but the list of reasonable excuses provided by the government is non-exhaustive.

Furthermore, the limit on travel is not laid out in law, and is merely issued as a guidance, suggesting that people should stay in their local area, village, or town.

While police are enforcing a crackdown on individuals such as Lalor, the abortion facilities are continuing to operate, seemingly with the approval of the police, who revealed to Lalor that killing the unborn through abortion was an essential service.

Although the abortion mills are granted permission to operate as normal, while churches and businesses have been closed, the government introduced new measures to make abortion more widespread. Since the start of COVID restrictions, the Liverpool BPAS abortion facility and others around the country have been changing their approach to providing abortions. Thanks to permission granted by the government, “telemedicine” was adopted last spring, whereby abortifacient pills were sent out by mail, and appointments conducted via video or phone calls.

Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury in England has called the new DIY abortion regime a “sinister measure,” describing it as an assault on mothers and children.