published : 2023-11-04

Woman Warns Freedom Under Fire After Police Encounters Over 'Thought Crime' of Prayer: 'Nothing They Can't Do'

Pro-life activist Isabel Vaughan-Spruce arrested for praying inside an abortion center's 'buffer zone' in England

Pro-life activist Isabel Vaughan-Spruce holding a sign advocating for prayer outside an abortion center in Birmingham, England taken with Nikon D850

Pro-life activist Isabel Vaughan-Spruce has been facing pushback for praying inside a Birmingham, England abortion center's 'buffer zone'.

Vaughan-Spruce believes her 'crime' was simply 'thinking' and she is now using her voice to caution the free world about the erosion of precious freedoms.

She has been praying outside abortion centers for about 20 years and has encountered many women who are grateful for the prayer.

However, her troubles escalated after local officials implemented a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO), which created a buffer zone around the abortion center.

Last year, Vaughan-Spruce was arrested for silently praying inside the buffer zone, but she was eventually acquitted.

Just two weeks later, she was once again rearrested for the same act and was told that her prayers were considered an offense.

Despite a six-month investigation, no charges were brought against her.

A police officer questioning Isabel Vaughan-Spruce about her affiliation with a pro-life or pro-choice group taken with Canon EOS R6

Now, she continues to silently pray and has been threatened with a fine for breaching the zone.

Video footage of the incident shows a female officer questioning Vaughan-Spruce about her affiliation with a pro-life or pro-choice group and her awareness of the PSPO.

While aware of the order, she refused to move elsewhere.

According to Jeremiah Igunnubole, legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom International, some police officers argue that they have no power to continue an investigation, while local authorities increasingly resort to criminalizing thoughts themselves.

They believe that this development is extremely concerning and potentially unconstitutional in the UK.

The PSPO bans prayer and counseling, and the controversy surrounding Vaughan-Spruce's case revolves around whether silent prayer is included in the ban.

Shawn Carney, CEO of the pro-life group 40 Days for Life, warns that persecution is already present in the United States.

Jeremiah Igunnubole, legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom International, discussing the concerns over freedom of thought taken with Sony A7 III

Vaughan-Spruce emphasizes the overwhelming support she has received for her right to pray wherever she chooses, regardless of differing perspectives on abortion or religious beliefs.

The issue goes beyond abortion and religion, highlighting the fundamental importance of freedom of thought.

The article does not mention the sources from which it draws its information.

West Midlands Police has given Vaughan-Spruce a written warning for breaching the PSPO, which carries a fine of up to £100 or prosecution.

Further comments are awaited from West Midlands Police.