British woman arrested for praying near abortion center warns of more arrests

A British woman arrested near an abortion center in Birmingham, England, for praying under a new protest ban law told Fox News she feared her situation would not be Britain’s last

Speaking on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Isabel Vaughan-Spruce said she has long prayed in silence outside of clinics and said dozens of women have accepted her offers of help and continued with their pregnancies instead of terminating them as planned.

She explained to host Tucker Carlson how the anti-protest policy has since been used to include similar behavior in abortion centers.

“In September of this year, Birmingham Borough Council introduced this zone of censorship, this PSPO – earlier these were used for dog poop and drunk behavior and things like that,” Vaughan-Spruce said. “But they’re now popping up near abortion centers across the country, and they’ve banned behaviors like protesting, but it also cites prayer and counseling as forms of protest.”


A cross necklace hanging in front of a window

A cross necklace hanging in front of a window
(Do Seongyun via Getty Images)

“Four times I went and stood near the closed abortion center and prayed there silently. And as you can see, the police came and asked me if I was protesting, which I didn’t. They asked me if I prayed and I said I could pray silently; I got arrested.”

Vaughan-Spruce added that authorities held her in a cell, interrogated her about what she was praying for and was later released on bail, with an appearance scheduled for February over four protests and involvement in an act to intimidate service users.

However, she also said that people on both sides of the abortion debate have come to her aid. Even pro-choice advocates, she said, have concerns about the protest bill.


A church

A church
(Pascal Deloche/Godong via Getty Images)

“That in itself is very encouraging to hear that this isn’t necessarily about people who are pro- or non-pro-abortion. It has more to do with freedom of thought here,” she said. “It even goes beyond freedom of prayer. I mean, we’re all talking about cancelation culture and the concerns we have when people get cancelled [for] speak publicly.”

Vaughan-Spruce said the idea of ​​arresting someone for what they think they’re not visibly doing is surreal and her supporters cite George Orwell and his novel 1984.

Carlson concluded what happened to Vaughan-Spruce was an “act of evil” and said British officials from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on should not stand by silently.


“It’s a human right. They can’t take it from you,” he said in part.

Vaughan-Spruce, the director of the UK March for Life, was standing near the BPAS Robert Clinic in Kings Norton, Birmingham, in an area the Alliance Defending Freedom-UK has described as a “censorship zone” when police approached them came after a bystander complained that she could pray outside abortion facility said the report.

Birmingham authorities have created a buffer zone around abortion clinics, making it illegal for a person to engage in any act or attempted act of consent or disapproval where abortion is involved, and excludes “oral or written means” such as “prayer or advice”.

Fox News’ Kendall Tietz contributed to this report.

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