A woman in Birmingham, England, was recently arrested for praying near an abortion clinic under the protest prohibition statute, or a Public Spaces Protection Order.
In September 2022, Birmingham authorities established a buffer zone around abortion clinics, so any act or attempted act of approval or disapproval as it relates to abortion — including “verbal or written means” like “prayer or counseling” — is considered illegal.
Isabel Vaughan Spruce, speaks out after she was arrested for silently praying in a public space and in this case, outside an abortion clinic. She has recounted the whole event as surreal, ‘Orwellian’ in nature even, and says that, to arrest somebody for what they are thinking has gone a step further even for something as absurd as the widespread cancel culture and the crazy post-modern time we are living in where people are living their own truth without ever knowing the ‘Truth’- Jesus Christ.
Spruce had been going over to abortion clinics for nearly two decades now, silently praying for the women who would come there to terminate their pregnancies, and says that dozens of women on account of her intervention and prayer, would change their minds and accept her help.
“Four times, I went and stood near the closed abortion center and silently prayed there. And as you can see, the police came and asked me if I was protesting, which I wasn’t. They asked me if I was praying, and I said I might be silently praying; I was arrested.” Vaughan-Spruce said.
Spruce was detained and interrogated for her silent prayers and was later released on bail. She is scheduled to appear before authorities in February on four counts of protesting and engaging in an act intimidating of service users.
In light of her arrest, critics and supporters have commented on both sides of the abortion debate. People raising concerns about the law that allows the state to arrest people even for their thought. Even abortion rights advocates have concerns about the protest law.
“…… it’s not necessarily about people who support abortion or don’t support abortion. This is more to do with freedom of thought here. It’s even gone further than freedom of prayer. I mean, we all talk about the cancel culture and the concerns we have about people being canceled [for] speaking in public, ” she said.
Let us uphold Spruce in our prayers as she continues to fight her legal battles. Even more so, as fellow spiritual warriors, we are to support each other in prayers and encouragement. We know the battle is the Lord’s and in the end, we will come out of it victorious.
The incident is also a lesson and a warning to all people of faith. There are many out there who hate God and would crucify Jesus again, if only they could. But since they cannot, they have set their sights upon Christians.