Isabel Vaughan Spruce’s recent arrest for silently praying outside an abortion clinic in the United Kingdom has sparked outrage from pro-life activists all over the world.
Spruce was charged with breaking a Public Space Protection Order for praying near an abortion clinic on four different occasions in Kings Norton, Birmingham. Footage of the incident shows police confronting the woman, who stands silently praying as they approach her and ask what she is doing. She tells them that she “might” be praying in her head.
The news of Spruce’s arrest comes amid anxieties over the Justice Department’s crackdown on pro-life activists in the United States. The recent arrest of Mark Houck, a pro-life father who allegedly pushed an abortion clinic volunteer who was reportedly bothering his son as they prayed outside an abortion clinic, has only intensified these fears.
The arrest of Spruce has been met with intense criticism from the pro-life community. Spruce’s supporters argue that her arrest is a violation of her religious freedom and a violation of her right to peacefully protest. They contend that the Public Space Protection Order used to arrest Spruce is overly broad and does not account for the peaceful nature of her protest.
The right to peacefully protest has long been a cornerstone of the pro-life movement and the arrest of Spruce has only further mobilized pro-life activists to stand up for their rights. It is clear that the pro-life movement will continue to fight for their freedom to protest outside abortion clinics and demand that the rights of peaceful protesters be respected.
“Are you praying?” He asks her.
“I might be praying in my head,” she responds.
Police in the UK arrest a woman for silently praying:
"Are you praying?"
"I might be praying in my head." pic.twitter.com/7Q8UnKmfa1
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) December 22, 2022
You can watch the full video here but I have to warn you, it’s upsetting. Spruce was searched and arrested for ‘maybe’ quietly praying to herself outside of an abortion clinic.
Erica Carlin is an independent journalist, opinion writer and contributor to several news and opinion sources. She is based in Georgia.