Police Apologise Over Wrongful Arrest
After six months of stress and worry, a brave Christian pro-lifer has finally been told that she will not be prosecuted for praying silently outside an abortion mill.
Following an expensive six-month investigation, West Midlands Police have confirmed that they will not bring charges against Isabel Vaughan-Spruce, issuing an apology for the length of time to reach the decision not to prosecute her for silent prayer.
The charitable volunteer was arrested for praying in a “buffer zone” surrounding an abortion facility on Station Road, Birmingham, on March 6. The censorship zone, introduced by local authorities via a “Public Spaces Protection Order,” bans prayer, amongst other activities considered to constitute protest against abortion.
The arrest caught worldwide attention in a viral video, in which police accused Vaughan-Spruce of committing an offence by silently praying in her own mind: “you’ve said you’ve been engaging in prayer, which is the offence.”
“This isn’t 1984, but 2023 – I should never have been arrested or investigated simply for the thoughts I held in my own mind. Silent prayer is never criminal,” commented Isabel Vaughan-Spruce upon receiving the apology from West Midlands Police.
I welcome West Midland Police’s decision to end their investigation and their apology for the time it took to do so, but it’s important to highlight the extremely harmful implications of this ordeal not just for myself, but for everyone concerned with fundamental freedoms in the U.K. What happened to me signals to others that they too could face arrest, interrogation, investigation, and potential prosecution if caught exercising their basic freedom of thought.
“Now that authorities have twice settled on the conclusion that silent prayer is not a crime – a conclusion also reached by the Home Secretary last week – I am thankful to resume my practice of praying silently for women in crisis pregnancies,” continued Vaughan-Spruce.
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