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Father Sean Gough and Isabel Vaughan-Spruce.jpg
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World News

Vindicated: Police apologise to woman arrested for silently praying near abortion clinic

by Kelly Valencia

A woman who was arrested for silently praying near an abortion clinic will not have any charges brought against her following a six-month police investigation.

West Midlands police have announced there will be “no further investigation into the alleged matter, and there will be no further action taken” against Isabel Vaughan-Spruce, and have apologised to her for the time it has taken to reach the conclusion.

The statement read: "Earlier this month, we advised a 46-year-old woman who was arrested in March on suspicion of breaching a PSPO that she would not face further action. We continue to liaise with Birmingham City Council about enforcement of the PSPO."

Ms Vaughan-Spruce was arrested in March for praying in her head, while standing in a so-called “buffer zone” - an area where prayer, amongst other activities, is considered to constitute a protest against abortion.

These areas are normally around abortion facilities and supporters argue the measures are to protect the well-being of those wanting to use the centre’s services.  England and Wales are considering to make it a nationwide law, while legislation has already passed in Scotland.

In March, MPs voted against an amendment which would have explicitly protected prayer and offers of charitable support to vulnerable women.

Earlier this year, a court found Vaughan-Spruce not guilty of breaking the law, after she prayed outside the same clinic in December 2022.

With support from ADF UK, Vaughan-Spruce is currently considering options to pursue redress for her treatment at the hands of the police.

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