This is the moment police told a Catholic woman that ‘praying is an offence’ as she was arrested a second time outside an abortion clinic just weeks after being acquitted for the same offence.
Video shared online shows Isabel Vaughan-Spruce, director of anti-abortion group March for Life UK, being arrested outside the BPAS Robert Clinic in Kings Norton, Birmingham.
Officers ask Ms Vaughan-Spruce to ‘step outside the exclusion zone’ that exists around the clinic. However, she tells officers that she is ‘not protesting’ and ‘not engaging in any of the activities prohibited’.
Police respond: ‘But you’ve said you’re engaging in prayer, which is the offence’, to which she replies: ‘Silent prayer.’
The officer then says, ‘No, but you were still engaging in prayer. It is an offence’, to which Ms Vaughan-Spruce answered: ‘I disagree.’
She was then arrested by six officers.
In a statement through her legal representatives, ADF UK, Ms Vaughan-Spruce said: ‘Only three weeks ago, it was made clear by the court that my silent prayers were not a crime.
‘And yet, again, I have been arrested and treated as a criminal for having the exact same thoughts in my head, in the same location.
‘The ambiguity of laws that limit free expression and thought – even in peaceful, consensual conversation or in silent, internal prayer – leads to abject confusion, to the detriment of important fundamental rights. Nobody should be criminalised for their thoughts.’
Read More: Police tell Catholic woman ‘praying is an offence’