UK woman ARRESTED outside abortion clinic after admitting she ‘might’ be silently praying

Americans often feel their rights are slowly being encroached upon by government and they are right in many aspects, however, there are incidents that occur in places like Canada, Australia and England that serve as reminders that things could be a lot worse.

One such incident taking the internet by storm took place in England and involves a young woman being arrested outside an abortion clinic after a police officer asked her if she was praying.

The woman, Isabel Vaughan-Spruce, was standing near an abortion clinic in Kings Norton, Birmingham, according to the Alliance Defense Fund. Police were summoned by an onlooker who suspected that Vaughan-Spruce was praying silently in her mind, the Christian legal advocacy group explained, noting that she was carrying no signs and remained still.

“Are you praying?” an officer asked.

“I might be praying in my head,” Vaughan-Spruce responded.

And with that she was taken into custody, being charged with breaking a Public Space Protection Order for praying silently near an abortion clinic on four different occasions, the ADF reported.

“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. “Nobody should ever be subject to harassment. But what I did was the furthest thing from harmful – 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.”

Jeremiah Igunnubole, legal counsel for ADF UK, which is supporting Vaughan-Spruce, said her arrest should be “deeply concerning.”

“Isabel’s experience should be deeply concerning to all those who believe that our hard-fought fundamental rights are worth protecting,” Igunnubole said. “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.”

“A mature democracy should be able to differentiate between criminal conduct and the peaceful exercise of constitutionally protected rights. Isabel, a woman of good character, and who has tirelessly served her community by providing charitable assistance to vulnerable women and children, has been treated no better than a violent criminal,” he added. “The recent increase in buffer zone legislation and orders is a watershed moment in our country. We must ask ourselves whether we are a genuinely democratic country committed to protecting the peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of speech. We are at serious risk of mindlessly sleepwalking into a society that accepts, normalises, and even promotes the “tyranny of the majority.”

Here’s a quick sampling of responses to the story from Twitter:

Tom Tillison


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