Pro-life activist fined while standing silently outside abortion clinic by officers who couldn’t articulate his crime

A British pro-life activist has been fined for standing silently outside an abortion clinic and violating the nation’s “buffer zone” laws.

Video footage of this stunning incident showed the man, Sebastian Vaughan-Spruce, just standing silently outside a Birmingham abortion clinic when two offers approached him and began peppering him with weird questions like the following:

  • “Are you protesting?”
  • “Are you here to pray for the lives of unborn children?”
  • “Can your actions be carried out elsewhere?”

Vaughan-Spruce answered “no” to the first two but expressed confusion over the third question.

“These particular actions? No. What are you referring to? What actions are you talking about?” he said.

“The fact that you’re here. Can your actions be carried out elsewhere?” one of the officers then asked.

Vaughan-Spruce again expressed confusion, to which one of the officers responded by asking him why he was standing there.

“Well, I’m here for peace in the world,” he replied.

“OK, are you aware there’s a public space protection order at this location?” one of the officers asked.

Vaughan-Spruce surprisingly admitted that he was aware of the order. But when the officers then asked him whether he’d exit the “exclusion zone,” he demurred, prompting them to fine him.

He wasn’t pleased by the fine.

“It’s abhorrently wrong that I was interrogated, and issued a penalty, simply for being pro-life and being on a certain public street,” he later told the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC). “Others were present there at the same time, yet I was singled out because of the beliefs I happen to hold.”

“We’re told buffer zones are there to prevent harassment – and I firmly believe that nobody should ever be subjected to harassment, which is already illegal. But these regulations are now being misused to punish people for ‘wrong thinking’ in a public space in the UK,” he added.

Unfortunately, fines and even ARRESTS have become commonplace ever since the “buffer zone” laws were instituted last year. Take Adam Smith-Connor, a British Army veteran who prayed silently for his deceased son outside an abortion clinic in Bournemouth.

“I did not approach anyone, I did not speak to anyone, I did not breach anyone’s privacy,” he later told SPUC. “I simply stood silently. I am being tried for the prayerful thoughts I held in my head… for a thoughtcrime.”

Isabel Vaughan-Spruce, the director of the UK March for Life and Sebastian Vaughan-Spruce’s sister, had charges dropped against her after she was questioned for standing on a public street near an abortion facility.

It’s all complete bull, according to SPUC executive director Michael Robinson.

“The outrageous persecution of pro-life men and women continues in the UK,” he said in a statement, according to a March for Life UK press release. “Hard-won liberties are being thrown out in favor of abortion ideology that now takes precedence over free speech and religious freedom. Thoughtcrime is now a terrifying reality.”

“These breaches of human rights, protected under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), are numerous and blatant. In 2022, a Home Office civil servant all but admitted that buffer zones are incompatible with the ECHR,” he added.

He continued by calling on Members of Parliament to take action to protect pro-life activists like Vaughan-Spruce.

“MPs must act to ensure that all UK citizens, irrespective of beliefs and religion, can express themselves peacefully without intervention from police authorities,” he said. “Even now, Scotland is considering totalitarian legislation that could potentially outlaw silent prayer outside abortion facilities – an extreme, needless and anti-democratic precedent to set.”

“Just as pro-lifers have a right to pray and offer help to women in crisis pregnancies, women also have the right to hear what they have to say and offer, which could potentially save the life of their child. Why are pro-abortion ideologues so desperate to prevent this?” he added.

Regarding the “buffer zones,” they were included in a law signed on May 2nd, 2023. The non-statutory guidance for the law reportedly states “it is unacceptable for anyone to be harassed or distressed simply for exercising their legal right to access abortion services.”

“The rights to gather, to express views and to manifest religious beliefs are a cornerstone of democracy in Britain. People should be free to gather and express their views, however uncomfortable they are to others, providing they do so within the law,” the guidance continues.

Sadly, the same sort of madness is pursued here in the United States as well. In one case, an American woman’s childhood home was reportedly visited by the FBI after she committed the apparent crime of joining a pro-life group.

Vivek Saxena


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