Isabel Vaughan-Spruce has been arrested for the second time for the “offence” of silently praying in her head within an abortion facility censorship zone or “buffer zone”.
Bail conditions have been imposed on Vaughan-Spruce prohibiting her from attending an area within the vicinity of the abortion facility which extends beyond the censorial “buffer zone”.
The arrest, which was attended by six police officers, comes only weeks after the charitable volunteer was found “not guilty” by Birmingham Magistrates’ Court. She had been criminally charged on the basis that her silent, imperceptible prayers amounted to “intimidation”.
The prosecution were not able to present any evidence to the court to substantiate the “thoughtcrime”, and Isabel’s name was cleared.
“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.”
Vaughan-Spruce has volunteered to support women in crisis pregnancies for twenty years. In February, she was cleared of criminal charges for violating a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO), which enforces a censorship zone around the abortion facility on Station Road, Birmingham.