A charity volunteer in Birmingham was recently arrested after she was seen praying silently near an abortion clinic in the latest example of woke censorship gone wild in the UK.
The ADF UK, an organization that describes itself as “A faith based legal advocacy organisation which protects fundamental freedoms and promotes the inherent dignity of all people in the UK and across the world”, tweeted about the incident, saying:
🚨NEW: A Birmingham charity worker has been arrested and charged after silently praying near an abortion facility 🚨
Isabel, a woman of good character, who has provided assistance to vulnerable women and children, has been criminalised for her thoughts
The same organization wrote about the incident on its website and described the charity volunteer’s arrest for what many online are calling a thought crime, saying:
A charity volunteer has been arrested and charged on four counts after she told the police she “might” be praying silently, when questioned as to why she was standing on a public street near an abortion facility.
Police approached Isabel Vaughan-Spruce standing near the BPAS Robert Clinic in Kings Norton, Birmingham. Vaughan-Spruce was carrying no sign and remained completely silent until approached by officers. Police had received complaints from an onlooker who suspected that Vaughan-Spruce was praying silently in her mind.
Isabel Vaughan-Spruce, the volunteer arrested for silently praying, commented on the incident and what her arrest shows about the state of things in the UK, saying:
“It’s abhorrently wrong that I was searched, arrested, interrogated by police and charged simply for praying in the privacy of my own mind. Censorship zones purport to ban harassment, which is already illegal. Nobody should ever be subject to harassment.
“But what I did was the furthest thing from harmful – I was exercising my freedom of thought, my freedom of religion, inside the privacy of my own mind. Nobody should be criminalised for thinking and for praying, in a public space in the UK.”
The ADF UK’s legal counsel, Jeremiah Igunnubole, commented on the shocking incident of Orwellian censorship and thoughtcrime punishment as well, saying:
“Isabel’s experience should be deeply concerning to all those who believe that our hard-fought fundamental rights are worth protecting. It is truly astonishing that the law has granted local authorities such wide and unaccountable discretion, that now even thoughts deemed “wrong” can lead to a humiliating arrest and a criminal charge.
“A mature democracy should be able to differentiate between criminal conduct and the peaceful exercise of constitutionally protected rights. Isabel, a woman of good character, and who has tirelessly served her community by providing charitable assistance to vulnerable women and children, has been treated no better than a violent criminal. The recent increase in buffer zone legislation and orders is a watershed moment in our country. We must ask ourselves whether we are a genuinely democratic country committed to protecting the peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of speech. We are at serious risk of mindlessly sleepwalking into a society that accepts, normalises, and even promotes the “tyranny of the majority.”
The West Midlands Police disputed the ADF UK’s portrayal of events as a comment on the post, saying:
To clarify, the woman was charged with four counts of failing to comply with a Public Space Protection Order.
The PSPO creates a zone around a specific facility to protect women from harassment by any means if they are seeking a medical procedure or advice at an abortion clinic.
Featured image credit: provided for free use in connection with this story by the ADF UK
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