Video has emerged of police in the UK arresting a pro-life activist for standing outside an abortion centre and silently praying.
The incident occurred last month outside the BPAS Robert Clinic in Kings Norton, Birmingham, but has come to light with fresh footage being shared on Twitter.
The video shows Isabel Vaughan-Spruce, Director of the pro-life organisation UK March for Life, being arrested and charged with four counts of violating a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) that has been put in place to prevent anti-abortion groups from gathering outside the clinic.
Remix News reports:
The order prohibits “protesting, namely engaging in any act of approval or disapproval or attempted act of approval or disapproval, with respect to issues related to abortion services, by any means,” including “graphic, verbal or written means, prayer or counseling” outside the abortion clinic.
The activist told police she was not protesting but “might be” silently praying in her head.
Vaughan-Spruce claims she was “searched, arrested, interrogated by police, and charged simply for praying in the privacy of my own mind.”
The activist and those helping her with the case are claiming that she has been charged with a “thought crime.”
“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,” Vaughan-Spruce further noted.
She added, “Nobody should be criminalized for thinking and for praying, in a public space in the U.K.”
A petition to drop the case and a crowd funder have been started.