Support Isabel, who is facing arrest over silent prayer (again)  

Charity volunteer arrested for a second time over silent prayer “thought crime” near an abortion facility, despite being cleared after being arrested and charged for similar allegations 3 weeks ago.

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May 20, 2023

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Isabel’s second arrest


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March 2023

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.


December 2022

Meet the charity worker arrested and charged on four counts for silent prayer “thought crime” near an abortion facility.

In November 2022, Police approached Isabel Vaughan-Spruce standing near the BPAS Robert Clinic in Kings Norton, Birmingham. Vaughan-Spruce was not protesting. She wasn’t carrying a sign or engaging with anyone. She was completely silent, until approached by officers who had received complaints that she may be praying silently in her mind.  While harassment is already illegal, the censorship zone measure introduced by Birmingham authorities criminalises individuals perceived to be “engaging in any act of approval or disapproval or attempted act of approval or disapproval” in relation to abortion, including through “verbal or written means, prayer or counselling…” Isabel’s physical presence in the public space protection order (PSPO) area wasn’t a crime in itself; it was the contents of her private thoughts that were prohibited. If Isabel had stood in the same place thinking about another topic, she would not have been arrested. Isabel is the Director of the UK March for Life and has volunteered for many years in support of women in crisis pregnancies. She has tirelessly served her community by providing charitable assistance to vulnerable women and children, and yet, she is being treated no better than a violent criminal because of her private thoughts. #Censored