West Midlands police in the UK have issued an apology to Isabel Vaughan-Spruce, a dedicated activist and director of March for Life UK.
She faced arrest earlier this year for engaging in silent prayer outside an abortion clinic in Birmingham. The arrest was due to a protective “buffer zone” established around the clinic which bans both protest and silent prayer.
Vaughan-Spruce highlighted the gravity of her ordeal stating, “This isn’t 1984, but 2023. Silent prayer is never criminal.” This marked her second arrest in recent times, having faced similar charges last December. Though she was acquitted in February, the recent episode had been prolonged without clarity on her standing.
The police force blamed the delay on an alleged reference to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). However, the CPS denied such claims and stated that the police themselves had the authority to decide on charges.
“This isn’t just about me,” Vaughan-Spruce emphasized, “What happened signals that others could face arrest for merely exercising their freedom of thought.” Jeremiah Igunnubole from Alliance Defending Freedom UK organization said the events highlighted the potential vulnerability of fundamental freedoms in the UK.
Despite facing legal challenges, Vaughan-Spruce remains steadfast in her mission, expressing gratitude that silent prayer has now been recognized as non-criminal. She intends to “resume my practice of praying silently for women in crisis pregnancies.”
The broader implications of buffer zones remain contentious in the UK. While many view them as protective measures against potential harassment at abortion clinics, opponents feel they infringe upon the basic freedom of expression.
Pray for the protection of religious freedom!