Pro-life activist Isabel Vaughan-Spruce is no longer under investigation for “thoughtcrime” charges after praying silently outside an abortion clinic in December 2022 and again in March 2023.
Vaughan-Spruce, who is the U.K. March for Life director, was approached by police officers outside of BPAS Robert Clinic in Birmingham, England in December. Police reportedly approached her with pictures of her standing outside the clinic and demanded to know if she had been praying. A jury decided Vaughan-Spruce was “not guilty” in February after UK authorities dropped formal charges against her. (RELATED: ‘Girls Are Going To Be Just Fine’: Dem Lawmaker Dismisses Female Athletes’ Concerns About Trans Competitors)
The charity volunteer was arrested for a second time in March for “engaging in prayer,” police told her. The UK voted to ban even silent prayer outside abortion clinics in England in Nov. 2022. Violators could face up to six months in jail.
West Midlands Police has issued an apology for how long the investigation took, according to a press release from the Alliance Defending Freedom.
WIN for Isabel Vaughan-Spruce as police drop six month investigation into her “thoughtcrime” with NO CHARGES.
Her name has been cleared only weeks after the Home Secretary clarified that “silent prayer” is “not unlawful”.
— ADF UK (@ADF_UK) September 22, 2023
“This isn’t 1984, but 2023 – I should never have been arrested or investigated simply for the thoughts I held in my own mind. Silent prayer is never criminal,” Vaughan-Spruce said, according to the release. “I welcome West Midland Police’s decision to end their investigation and their apology for the time it took to do so, but it’s important to highlight the extremely harmful implications of this ordeal not just for myself, but for everyone concerned with fundamental freedoms in the UK.”
“What happened to me signals to others that they too could face arrest, interrogation, investigation, and potential prosecution if caught exercising their basic freedom of thought.”
Home Secretary Suella Braverman published an open letter in September telling police not to politicize criminal investigations, saying that, “It is worth remembering that silent prayer, in itself, is not lawful.”
“I am thankful to resume my practice of praying silently for women in crisis pregnancies,” Vaughan-Spruce said.