GUEST POST: The headlines are once again reporting the arrest of an innocent pro-life individual who was merely practicing their religious liberty and yet somehow ended up on the wrong side of the law for it. Father Sean Gough, a Catholic priest from the diocese of Birmingham, England, faced charges recently for praying within an abortion facility censorship zone — an Orwellian idea-turned-reality in the U.K.
According to the priest’s attorney, Lorcan Price, censorship zones around abortion vendors’ in the UK were established to “…prohibit citizens from praying and offering to help women.” While the existence of these censorship areas alone is alarming, it should also be noted that the charges were not wholly based on violating the zone protocol, either.
Fox News published on February 16th that Father Gough had been standing outside the abortion facility after business hours, holding a sign with a simple message: “Praying for Freedom of Speech.” Father Sean Gough also shared with Tucker Carlson that he was also charged on the basis of driving a car that had a bumper sticker which read “Unborn Lives Matter”; understandably a grave offense to pro-abortion individuals, as it acknowledges the humanity of babies in the womb.
(Click HERE to read SFLA’s Top 10 Free Speech Violations from Fall 2022.)
After the occurrence, although he was not praying for an end to abortion at the moment of the accusation, Father Gough stated in a comment to the Catholic News Agency (CNA): “It’s an issue that means a lot to me because my mom made a bold choice for life when I was a baby… I was conceived in the context of severe violence, and she found the grace and strength to fight for us both. So many people thought she should abort me, but by the grace of God, she didn’t, and we’re both so grateful for that today.”
Although now one of the recognizable faces for criminalized pro-lifers, Father Gough’s life is more importantly a beautiful testimony of a mother’s sacrificial love.
As of February 17th, Father Sean Gough’s charges have been dropped. However, as displayed in the recent arrest of another pro-lifer in Birmingham, Isabel Vaughan-Spruce, the UK persistently fails to protect the freedom of speech, a morally-depraved dereliction of duty, consistent with their abortion laws. Americans should recognize dystopian societal occurrences such as these and be more ardently inspired to strive to protect human rights in their country.
As former President Ronald Reagan once said,“Freedom is a fragile thing… it is never more than one generation away from extinction.” Let us not be the generation in which it becomes extinct.
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