UK woman arrested for the thought crime of silent prayer delivers a chilling message

The British woman who was arrested for praying outside of an abortion clinic is now speaking out about her ordeal and fighting back.

Indeed, the woman, Isabel Vaughan-Spruce, has even hired attorneys, namely those with the Alliance Defending Freedom’s U.K. branch.

Listen to what she has to say below:

“I’m still trying to get my mind around the fact that I’ve been arrested for silent thoughts going on in the privacy of my own head. My faith is a central part of who I am. So sometimes I’d stand or walk near an abortion facility and pray about this issue,” she says in the video above, describing what happened.

“Police asked me what I was doing one afternoon near the abortion center. I was clearly just standing there, motionless. I was completely silent. I let the police officers know I might be praying inside my own head,. That’s all I was doing. Thinking. Lifting up my thoughts to God in silent prayer,” she adds.

Yet as previously reported, she was arrested for this.

“This was enough for them to arrest me and take me to the station. Before this, they searched me on the pavement, even searching through my hair and confiscating the tissues in my pocket,” she explained.

“When I was taken down to the police station, I was then grilled about what I was thinking. Later they let me know that I’ve now been charged on four counts because of the thoughts I’ve been thinking and where I was thinking them,” she continued.

Vaughan-Spruce concluded her remarks by stressing the importance of freedom of thought.

“You don’t have to be pro-life to see that this is wrong. freedom of thought, conscience, and belief are the most fundamental rights. and are an essential part of our human identity. My name is Isabel. I’m a friend to someone, a sister to others, a charity worker, a Christian. I’m not a criminal, but I’ve been censored,” she said.

Indeed, she has, though payback may be in store for her, given the ADF’s successful history of litigation:

“Nobody should be arrested for the thoughts they have in their own mind. The arrest and charge appears to be premised entirely on her admission that she was praying internally. The clinic was closed and she was standing, in a public space, without once engaging anyone. As a public space, she was not banned from being present there,” ADF UK legal counsel Jeremiah Igunnubole said in a statement.

“But for the fact that Isabel was praying internally, it is highly unlikely that she would have been arrested and charged, making this a prosecution based on her thoughts. Isabel’s case demonstrates just how draconian ‘buffer zone’ or ‘censorship zone’ measures can be. Politicians in Westminster and Holyrood should take note as they consider rolling out this censorial measure nationwide,” he added.

The specific rule that Vaughan-Spruce violated was established on the local level.

“A law passed by Birmingham authorities criminalizes those deemed to ‘engage in any act of approval or disapproval or attempt to approve or disapprove’ of abortion, including by ‘verbal means or writings, prayers or advice,'” according to the Society of Saint Pius X.

“The law also establishes exclusion zones – public space protection order (PSPO) – within a radius of 150m around the abortion clinics. Mrs. Vaughan-Spruce was notably accused of having violated this order. The police only became interested in her after a person complained that she was praying silently.”

According to Vaughan-Spruce, the rule was initially implemented to deal with “drunken behavior and things like that” but was quickly twisted to attack pro-life activists.

“In September this year, the local council in Birmingham brought in this censorship zone, this PSPO – formerly these were used for dog fouling and drunken behavior and things like that,” she said last week on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

“But they’re now popping up around the country surrounding abortion centers, and they banned behavior like protesting, but it also names prayer and counseling as forms of protesting,” she added.


It must be stressed again that she was just standing there praying. She wasn’t holding up any signs. She wasn’t yelling out any chants. She was just praying.

Nevertheless, she’s now out on bail, and her conditions state that she may no longer pray in any PSPO areas.


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Vivek Saxena


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