'Abhorrently Wrong' Woman Arrested for Praying Silently in Front of Abortion Clinic


A woman based in the UK was arrested for silently praying in front of an abortion clinic.

Earlier this month, Isabel-Vaughan-Spruce, who is the director for U.K. March for Life, was questioned by police as to why she was standing in front of the clinic.

Vaughn-Spruce denied that she was protesting, but when asked if she was praying, she replied, “I might be praying in my head.”

After she chose not to go to the police station for further questioning, Vaughan-Spruce was arrested and charged with “breaking a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO),” according to Alliance Defending Freedom UK (ADF UK).

Birmingham authorities introduced “the censorship zone measure” which criminalises people who they believe are “engaging in any act of approval or disapproval or attempted act of approval or disapproval” in relation to abortion, including through “’verbal or written means, prayer or counselling…’”.  

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Individuals who break this rule could could face up to two years in prison.  

Lois McLatchie, the communications officer for Alliance Defending Freedom UK, spoke out on the incident.

“No citizen should be criminalised for legitimate, peaceful activity, even prayer. Isabel’s case demonstrates just how far the state can go if we do not vigilantly guard fundamental rights and freedoms. Politicians in Westminster and Holyrood should take note as they consider rolling out this censorial measure nationwide,” she said

Continuing, she said, “If we truly value civil liberties and fundamental rights it should be unfathomable for the law to permit a repeat of Isabel’s experience, let alone endorsed by our elected representatives and rolled out nationally.”

Psalm 17:6 says,  “I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.”

Vaughn-Spruce made a statement following her arrest, which she called “abhorrently wrong.”

She shared:

“It’s abhorrently wrong that I was searched, arrested, interrogated by police and charged simply for praying in the privacy of my own mind. Censorship zones purport to ban harassment, which is already illegal. Nobody should ever be subject to harassment. But what I did was the furthest thing from harmful – I was exercising my freedom of thought, my freedom of religion, inside the privacy of my own mind. Nobody should be criminalised for thinking and for praying, in a public space in the UK.”

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Vaughn Spruce explained that she has devoted her life to helping many women with their pregnancies.

“I have devoted much of my life to supporting women in crisis pregnancies with everything that they need to make an empowered choice for motherhood,” she shared. “l am also involved in supporting women who have had abortions and are struggling with the consequences of it. I’ve grown close to many of the women I’ve been able to support over the years, and it breaks my heart to know that so many more go through this every day.”

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