Bernadette Smyth, Founder and Director of Precious Life, awaits trial later this year for allegedly harassing Dawn Purvis, Director of the Marie Stopes pro-abortion clinic in Belfast.
Bernadette Smyth, Founder and Director of Precious Life, awaits trial later this year for allegedly harassing Dawn Purvis, Director of the Marie Stopes pro-abortion clinic in Belfast. The weekly presence of Bernadette Smyth and volunteers of Precious Life outside Marie Stopes has been attacked and portrayed as menacing harassment.
Commenting on the legal proceedings which started today at Belfast magistrates court, Aiden Carlin Solicitors said: “Although this legislation [Protection from Harassment (Northern Ireland) Order 1997] was designed to protect people from stalkers, in recent years the Order has been widely criticised as being a weapon for businesses like Marie Stopes against peaceful campaigners to stifle legitimate opposition. Indeed, the civil rights group Liberty called the use of such law by large companies a dangerous and undemocratic trend to seek to limit the right to protest.”
This is not only an attack on Bernadette Smyth, a manifestation of the ongoing battle between Precious Life and Marie Stopes in Belfast, but an extensive attack on the religious freedom of those who defend the rights of unborn children. This court case is a ploy to distract and deter those who stand up and pray for the rights of unborn children and to curtail their religious freedom.
It is commonly stated that we are ‘entitled to our own opinion’, that we have the right not to have an abortion if we do not want to; but we are not to ‘impose our opinions and religious beliefs’ on others who do not share our beliefs. We are expected to leave our prayers and religious beliefs behind when we leave our homes and churches and enter the increasingly secular society which turns its back on what is deemed ‘backward’. But those who stand and pray outside Marie Stopes and other abortion facilities throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland are as much a part of society as the rest.
We have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and to exercise this freedom in practice and observance, either individually or in community with others and in public or in private. It is our right to stand and pray in silent prayer vigils, to go out and freely defend the rights of unborn children, and protect them and their mothers from the horrors of abortion.
Aiden Carlin Solicitors confirmed that Bernadette Smyth “is a very highly respected Christian who has tirelessly campaigned worldwide on behalf of the unborn for over 17 years.” She totally refutes this ridiculous allegation and invites Christians everywhere to follow her landmark case, and encourages those who are pro-life to continue praying for and defending the rights of unborn children.