UK Police Arrest Disabled Pro-Lifer, Court Clears All Charges

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by Rodney Pelletier  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  November 1, 2019   

Police failed to properly counsel victim before arrest

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LONDON (ChurchMilitant.com) - Charges against a pro-life advocate praying outside an abortion mill in the U.K. have been dropped.

On August 8, pro-life advocate Christian Hacking was praying outside an abortion mill in Ealing, West London. He was approached by police officers enforcing a city-enacted buffer zone forbidding any kind of demonstration near an abortion mill.

Hacking tells Church Militant, "My story should make the hairs on the necks of Christians stand bolt upright!"


 

He was allegedly violating a city code, called the Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO), which forbids protesting in any form near the Marie Stopes abortion mill in the city.

The order forbids "[E]ngaging in any act of approval/disapproval or attempted act of approval/disapproval, with respect to issues related to abortion services, by any means. This includes but is not limited to graphic, verbal or written means, prayer or counselling."

Pro-lifers are permitted to gather in a "designated area" about 100 meters west of the facility and forbidden to gather or show any opposition to abortion in the so-called "safe zone" encompassing the abortion mill.

Wounded from a mountain climbing accident five years ago and requiring the assistance of a wheelchair, Hacking was praying in the "safe zone" when law enforcement surrounded him, informing him of his alleged violation.

 Hacking asked an officer if it was a criminal offense to pray, and the officer responded, "I'm saying you're in breach of the court order." He asked, "So it's a criminal offense to pray, according to the court order, it's a criminal offence to pray outside of a place where children are being killed?" The officer added, "I believe that I've given you the answer."

Hacking declared:

I'm going to continue praying. I'm in this place because they're killing human beings inside this clinic, it is against the law to ban anyone praying anywhere in this land. The PSPO has been built upon false grounds, false harassment, fake news, I don't respect it. I don't think you have a constitutional right to stop someone from praying, so I'm going to continue praying here until you remove me, forcibly or whatever, because what's more important is that God's law is upheld in this nation and not the law of those who govern this nation and not this ludicrous law that says people can't pray.

Police asked Hacking to leave, but he refused, saying, "I can't stand up, I'm in a wheelchair. I'm not moving, I'm praying. I'm not going to capitulate to your demands. I am allowed to pray here. This earth was the Lord's before it was Ealing [city] council's."

The police can be heard in the video, speaking among themselves, noting that Hacking would normally receive a fine. They decide, however, to arrest him due to his refusal to move. 

Hacking tells them, "If you remove me I'm gonna come straight back and start praying again, okay? Because they should not be killing people in this place, and we should not be tolerating this in our country."

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The "safe zone" and "designated area" around the Marie Stopes abortion mill in Ealing, North London

Police expressed concern about his back injury, but Hacking assured them, "Now don't worry, it's got titanium and you're not gonna hurt me."

When police asked if Hacking would prefer to walk to the riot van himself, he responded, 

If this is the cost of praying in a free nation, so be it. If this is the cost of praying for vulnerable children, if this is what you're gonna do to people to pray for vulnerable children — that's all I've done, I haven't done anything wrong other than pray… 

While police took him away, Hacking prayed for them, saying, "Jesus, I pray, Lord Jesus, have mercy, Lord have mercy upon on these people."

Hacking declares to Church Militant that people have been praying outside the Ealing abortion mill for 30 years and they have saved 3,000 babies "through their peaceful, prayerful presence."

He continues: 

In the last two years it has not only become illegal to help women in a crisis but also it has become a criminal offence to engage in an act of prayer, silent or otherwise. This is an insult to religious liberty and plays right into the bloody hands of abortionists.  It's about time the church woke up to this injustice, stopped believing the media lies and began doing what it was made to do: 'rescuing those being led away to death.'

He was expected to go to court on November 5 to plead his case before the judge, but the Uxbridge Magistrate Court issued a letter on Friday informing him the case is being dropped, saying there was not "enough evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction."

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