by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – The Director of the UK March for Life has been arrested, searched, and criminally charged for silently praying near an abortion clinic in England’s city of Birmingham, ADF UK reports.
A pro-life volunteer who has spent the last 20 years helping to support women who have had an abortion or who are considering one, Isabel Vaughan-Spruce, was arrested after police received a complaint from someone who saw her in a city-authorized buffer zone around the BPAS abortion clinic, ADF UK reports.
Under measures implemented by Birmingham authorities, anyone who is caught “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 counseling…” within the zone may face criminal prosecution.
The onlooker thought Vaughan-Spruce may have been praying in her mind about abortion and called the police, who arrested the pro-lifer after she said she might have been praying in her mind.
“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,” Vaughan-Spruce said in a statement.
“I was exercising my freedom of thought, my freedom of religion, inside the privacy of my own mind. Nobody should be criminalized for thinking and for praying in a public space in the UK,” Vaughan-Spruce added.
In a separate statement on the case, Jeremiah Igunnubole, Legal Counsel for ADF UK, which is representing Vaughan-Spruce, said: “Isabel’s experience should be deeply concerning to all those who believe that our hard-fought fundamental rights are worth protecting. It is truly astonishing that the law has granted local authorities such wide and unaccountable discretion that now even thoughts deemed “wrong” can lead to a humiliating arrest and a criminal charge.”
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