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BIRMINGHAM, England (ChurchMilitant.com) - West Midlands Police in England have apologized to a charity volunteer who was arrested twice in the past year for silently praying near an abortion mill. The police confirmed that no charges will be filed against her.
Isabel Vaughan-Spruce faced her first arrest last December, charged with breaching a Public Space Protection Order in Birmingham. The PSPO banned protests, including prayer, near abortuaries. The charges were later dropped, but she was arrested again in March for a similar alleged offense.
All Charges Dropped
Police have now dropped all charges for her second arrest, stating, "There will be no further investigation ... no further action."
The reason for the delay, allegedly due to Crown Prosecution Service consideration, remains unclear, with the CPS denying involvement.
Isabel protested, "I should never have been arrested. ... Silent prayer is never criminal."
She emphasized the broader impact, warning others they could face arrest, interrogation and prosecution for exercising their freedom of thought.
Isabel welcomed the police's decision but stressed the ordeal's harm to fundamental freedoms.
UK woman arrested for silently praying across from abortion clinic: 'Terrifying' | New York Post
'A Grave Injustice'
The police's decision aligns with Home Secretary Suella Braverman's recent statement that "silent prayer, within itself, is not unlawful."
This follows legislation criminalizing attempts to "influence" women considering abortion within 150 meters of an abortuary.
An amendment protecting silent prayer and information sharing failed.
Another case involves Adam Smith-Connor, charged for silently praying within an abortuary buffer zone. He has a hearing scheduled for November.
Right to Life UK's Catherine Robinson said, "It remains a grave injustice ... [there is] a tension between the law and what the police and Home Secretary enforce."
The lack of clarity in the law raises concerns about potential future incidents.