Woman Arrested & Fined for Silently Praying Outside Abortion Clinic (Birmingham)

Originally appeared at: Pravoslavie.ru

In the “buffer zone” of one of the abortion clinics in the English city of Birmingham, on October 18, volunteer Isabel Vaughan-Spruce, co-director of the pro-life organization March for Life UK, who heads the “40 Days for Life” campaign, was fined for “silent prayer”, writes Christian Today.

The incident comes despite the woman being arrested twice over the past year for “silent prayer” outside an abortion clinic in Birmingham, and being cleared of all charges both times.

Earlier this year, the British government passed legislation to create “buffer zones” around abortion clinics across England and Wales. The law criminalizes prayer, providing information or assistance to women, or any “expression of approval or disapproval of abortion” within a 150-meter radius of any abortion clinic.

According to the Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom UK (ADF UK), which sided with Isabel Vaughan-Spruce, a police officer approached her and asked if she silently prayed for unborn babies and if she was a member of an organization advocating "pro-life” or “pro reproductive choice.”

"The UK Government urgently needs to make it clear that thoughts can never be illegal - even if they are at odds with the government's position. This is the third time I have been treated like a criminal for peacefully, silently and quietly praying for women who are probably going through one of the worst days of their lives. The buffer zone law was originally intended to prevent me and others like me from counseling women in urgent need of help. And now the authorities are trying to prevent me from even praying for these poor women! Fining a person simply for his thoughts - this is the fulfillment of Orwell’s predictions, this is a violation of all the freedoms that Britain is called upon to protect,” Isabel said in connection with the incident.

A few days earlier, another Christian man named Patrick Parkes was warned by police in the same Birmingham location that he would be fined if he continued to pray silently, and another man was warned for filming the incident.

In turn, the Alliance Defending Freedom was surprised by the priorities of the Birmingham police after it became known in August that Birmingham, on a number of parameters, had taken away the “title” of the crime capital of Great Britain from London, and the number of crimes with the use of firearms in the West region -The Midlands, where the city is located, grew by 86%. It recently became known that in 12 months, Birmingham police recorded 1,089 cases of such crimes in the city, while the previous year there were 584.

Ironically, in September, the Birmingham City Council declared itself bankrupt, and any prosecutions for “silent prayer” in buffer zones should be funded by the council.

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