British woman arrested for praying opposite abortion clinic

Conservatives and free speech activists took to Twitter to rail against a recent video of police interrogating and eventually arresting a pro-life woman praying silently outside a UK abortion clinic.

Those watching the woman’s arrest after admitting she was “praying in my head” were appalled. Some claimed this was proof that Britain had become a dystopia.

The arrested woman, Isabel Vaughan-Spruce, is the director of the UK March for Life.

According to Alliance Defending Freedom UK (ADF UK), Vaughan-Spruce was “standing near the BPAS Robert Clinic in Kings Norton, Birmingham, in what ADF UK describes as a ‘censorship zone’ when police approached them after a viewers had complained that she might be praying outside the abortion facility.”

According to ADF UK, Birmingham authorities have created buffer zones near abortion clinics, making it illegal for people to engage in behavior that disapproves or condones abortion. These include “graphic, oral, or written means, prayer, or counseling.”

The clip shows the woman standing silently on a curb opposite an abortion clinic as British police officers approach her. One asks why she is standing there and replies that she is there for the abortion clinic. She denies being involved in any protests.

Isabel Vaughan-Spruce is the director of the UK March for Life.
Police eventually questioned and arrested a pro-life woman who was praying in silence outside a UK abortion clinic.

The officer then asks, “Are you praying?” to which she replies, “I may be praying in my head.” The officer then asks her if she would be willing to go to the station to question her about her actions. “If I have a choice, then no,” she replies, to which the officer states, “You are under arrest,” and claims she is charged with “suspicion of breaching the order to protect public spaces.”

Anglican priest Rev Calvin Robinson criticized what he saw in the footage, saying: “This is appalling. What have we become?! Even under a conservative government.”

Catholic author and founder of Compact Magazine Sohrab Ahmari tweeted: “OY YOU GO’ A LICENSE TO BETE IN YOUR ‘EAD MA’AM?’

Pro-life attorney Emily Rarick wrote: “This is absolutely insane. How can someone be arrested for praying?”

Many believed this violated their religious rights.
Many criticized the British police on Twitter after the arrest.

Virginia GOP delegate Nick Freitas took the opportunity to remind users of George Orwell’s dystopia, tweeting, “1984 was a warning, not a guide.”

RedState Deputy Editor-in-Chief Brandon Morse put it succinctly: “If abortion advocates don’t believe in God and think prayer is actually silly, what are they so afraid of?”

Conservative expert Lauren Chen tweeted: “In the UK, people are literally being arrested for thought crimes. Freedom of speech is NOT a Western value, it is a quintessentially American one.”

Nile Gardiner, a former adviser to the late former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, remarked: “This is appalling. It is shameful to see a woman arrested for praying on a UK street. This should not happen under a Conservative government and the Home Secretary should take steps to ensure that such scenes do not happen again.”

National Review contributor Nate Hochman tweeted, “Sorry, but imagine if you didn’t have a First Amendment.”

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