Five abortion activists will spend a year behind bars after they were convicted Tuesday of violating religious freedom laws in Spain.
The Church Militant reports the young abortion activists faced charges after they disrupted a Catholic Mass on Feb. 12, 2014 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. They were part of a group of about a dozen abortion activists who disturbed the Mass, yelling “free and gratuitous abortion” and “get your Rosaries off our ovaries” during the service.
The Supreme Court of Spain upheld their conviction Tuesday.
“Even for the unbelieving in our society, for the profane, the celebration of Masses as a religious act is a perfectly known and recognizable fact,” the judges wrote in their decision.
Here’s more from the report:
Five of the six abortion activists were convicted in 2016, while one was acquitted. The court was clear in its ruling that the activists “cannot violate religious freedom,” adding, “the authentic democratic exercise of respect for freedom is shown when the lawful expression of opinions, beliefs or ideas contrary to those that one has or professes is respected.”
While the Spanish Supreme Court acknowledged that they had a legitimate right to protest, it said the legitimacy was removed when it was “organized in such a way that it would be so noticeable by third parties.”
It appears that the abortion activists had appealed a lower court ruling, claiming that they did not know that they were disrupting a religious service. However, the high court did not believe the claims.
According to the report, they agreed with a lower court that the abortion activists undoubtedly “knew that Mass was being held” and the intent of their protest was “to prevent, interrupt or disturb in a manner clearly perceptible to all, the religious act that they knew was celebrated at that time in that church.”
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Between 200 and 300 people attended the Mass when the protest took place, according to InfoCatolica.
A lower court previously scolded the young abortion activists, saying they “could have used their right to the freedoms of collective assembly and expression without violating the rights of the accused.”