by Steven Ertelt
January 23, 2007
London, England (LifeNews.com) — A pro-life woman in England says her rights were denied when she was convicted of harassing three pharmacists when she sent them abortion pictures as a protest for selling the morning after pill. Veronica Connolly, of Birmingham, was convicted in 2005 for sending pictures.
Connolly has appealed the conviction and has taken her case to two judges at London’s High Court.
Her attorney says Connolly was simply exercising her free speech rights and engaging in a lawful protest. She is saying her freedoms under the European Convention on Human Rights were violated, according to a BBC story.
Paul Diamond, her attorney, told the court that the provision under which Connolly was convicted does not applies to matters of public opinion such as abortion.
Diamond said the law she was charged under was meant to target libel and slander not public opinions on policy matters, the BBC reported.
"We say this is protected speech of the highest political, social and religious nature relating to an issue of public concern, namely abortion," he said.
Connolly, a member of the pro-life group UK Life League, started writing to the pharmacists in 2004. She was eventually given a 12-month deferred sentence and ordered to pay the pharmacists’ legal costs.
Her case follows that of 74 year-old Edward Atkinson.
He was held criminally liable for repeatedly mailing pictures of abortions to staff at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
The hospital eventually took Atkinson off a waiting list for a hip surgery and banned him from receiving any medical treatment other than care for something life-threatening. LifeNews.com reported on the story and the hospital was deluged with mail.
Atkinson showed up at QEH hospital for an eye exam he previously made and was turned away by staff there. After arguing with staff, they escorted him from the building and gave him another copy of a letter saying he would only be treated for life-threatening injuries.
Under the terms of his conviction, Atkinson must submit to a probation period of five years, under which he cannot mail the hospital.