published : 2023-09-23

Police Drop Charges Against British Woman for Silent Prayer Outside Abortion Clinic

Isabel Vaughan-Spruce receives apology for prolonged investigation

Police officer standing outside an abortion clinic, ensuring public safety (Taken with Nikon D850)

After a six-month investigation, police in England have decided not to bring charges against a woman for silently praying outside an abortion clinic.

Isabel Vaughan-Spruce, the director of the UK March for Life, was offered an apology for the lengthy process it took to reach the decision.

Earlier this year, Vaughan-Spruce was arrested when she told the police that she might be praying silently near an abortion facility.

The arrest took place in a 'buffer zone' introduced by local authorities, which prohibits activities like prayer as a protest against abortion.

Isabel Vaughan-Spruce standing peacefully, deep in prayer, near the abortion clinic (Taken with Canon EOS R)

Upon receiving the apology, Vaughan-Spruce emphasized that she should never have been arrested or investigated for her thoughts, highlighting the importance of fundamental freedoms in the UK.

She expressed concerns that her experience could signal to others that they too may face similar consequences for exercising their basic freedom of thought.

Vaughan-Spruce is now considering pursuing redress for her treatment with the support of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) UK.

The decision by the police to drop the investigation and apologize was welcomed by Vaughan-Spruce and ADF UK.

Group of activists advocating for freedom of speech and thought, holding signs supporting Isabel Vaughan-Spruce (Taken with Sony Alpha a7 III)

Jeremiah Igunnubole, legal counsel for ADF UK, stated that in a democracy, speech and thought should be protected, not criminalized.

He further underscored the need for the UK government to address ideological policing and protect freedom of speech and thought.

Parliamentarians in the UK are currently discussing legislation to introduce similar censorship zones in other parts of the country, raising concerns among free speech advocates.

Overall, the incident involving Isabel Vaughan-Spruce draws attention to the importance of safeguarding fundamental freedoms and applying the rule of law.