Prayer is not thought crime!
Charity worker, Isabel Vaughan-Spruce, the director of March for Life UK and a volunteer who has worked for many years supporting women experiencing crisis pregnancies, has been subjected to a humiliating arrest and charged on four counts for standing silently in the street and praying.
Isabel was standing silently inside a zone covered by a public space protection order thanks to its proximity to an abortion facility. She was not carrying any signage or religious symbols or expressing any opinion whatsoever about abortion, all of which are prohibited activities within the zone; she simply stood in silent contemplation.
Not only was Vaughan-Spruce not expressing any opinion about abortion, but she had also taken steps to ensure that she could not be perceived as harassing or intimidating users or staff at the abortion facility by only entering the zone when it was closed.
Isabel was searched, arrested, put into a jail cell, interrogated and then charged all because of what she might have been thinking. When presented with photos of herself standing silently in the zone, Isabel was asked if she was praying and said that she did not know, she might have been praying, or she might have been distracted and thinking about what she had for lunch!
It is absolutely crazy that someone should be facing criminal charges for what they might have been thinking about, especially when such thoughts are entirely peaceful and pose no threat whatsoever.
Equally shocking, the police attempted to further restrict Isabel’s religious freedoms by preventing her from contacting a local Catholic priest who is also involved in pro-life work, a restriction that was later dropped, but she is also currently banned from taking part in any other form of public prayer to ‘prevent further offences’. In other words, in case Isabel’s presence encourages other people to think the wrong thoughts in public.
Isabel is a woman of good character who has previously helped hundreds of women struggling with pregnancy, and yet she has been treated like a violent criminal.
We must not allow thought crime to enter the statute books via the backdoor. Isabel’s situation demonstrates how censorship zones, no matter how well-intended, infringe on civil liberties and basic human rights.
Sign to demand that Suella Braverman personally intervenes and that all charges against Isabel Vaughan-Spruce are dropped.
ADF: woman charged for thought crime