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Isabel Vaughan-Spruce.jpg
World News

Woman arrested after 'silently praying' near abortion clinic

by Marcus Jones

A woman from the West Midlands has been arrested after claiming she was told by police she may have been silently praying near to an abortion clinic.

Isabel Vaughan-Spruce was outside BPAS Robert Clinic in Kings Norton, Birmingham when she was approached by officers who reportedly had received complaints about her being there.

Birmingham City Council has recently introduced buffer zones around abortion clinics meaning any behaviour which may intimidate women entering is banned.

Included in the legislation is prayer, handing out leaflets or holding placards.

In a statement to Premier, West Midlands Police confirmed the arrest.

A spokesperson said: "Isabel Vaughan-Spruce was arrested on 6 December and subsequently charged on 15 December with four counts of failing to comply with a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO).

"She was bailed to appear at Birmingham Magistrates Court on 2 February 2023."

Legislation around buffer zones has been introduced by a number of local councils.

Politicians in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are currently considering whether to impose the zones nationwide.

It's an issue which religious freedom charity ADF UK are currently campaigning against.

Addressing the wider issue, Jeremiah Igunnubole, legal counsel for the organisation said: "The recent increase in buffer zone legislation and orders is a watershed moment in our country.

"We must ask ourselves whether we are a genuinely democratic country committed to protecting the peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of speech.

"We are at serious risk of mindlessly sleepwalking into a society that accepts, normalises, and even promotes the 'tyranny of the majority'.”

 

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