From the SFLA Blog

Praying without a License: U.K. Pro-Lifer Arrested on Suspicion of Praying; Are the Faithful in the U.S. Next? 

Caroline Wharton - 22 Dec 2022

If you think the censorship of speech is bad, what about the censorship of thoughts? Thoughts may seem an impossible thing to regulate, but recent reports show that a pro-lifer from the United Kingdom was actually arrested for standing outside an abortion facility and potentially praying in her mind. Her story seems Orwellian to say the least, but it’s not entirely unbelievable for American pro-lifers who have been ruthlessly prosecuted by our own law enforcement agencies. Here’s what you should know about this eerie case and why it still matters for pro-lifers outside the U.K.: 

Fox News reported that the Director of the UK March for Life Isabel Vaughan-Spruce was standing near an abortion facility in Kings Norton, Birmingham when she was approached by the police. An onlooker had complained that “she might be praying” in an area which, according to a Birmingham buffer law, it is illegal to engage in any act which might be construed as disapproving of abortion, including “verbal or written means” like “prayer or counseling.” 

Is this what England has come to … you need to be licensed to pray? That’s a whole new twist on 007, as abortionists are licensed to kill, and pro-lifers pray for the innocent. 

(Click HERE to learn how United States Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson supported buffer laws.) 

Her silent moment in front of the abortion facility — of which only she and God could attest whether there was indeed prayer — resulted in an arrest that shook the pro-life movement to the core. 

Vaughan-Spruce stated, “It’s abhorrently wrong that I was searched, arrested, interrogated by police, and charged simply for praying in the privacy of my own mind. I was exercising my freedom of thought, my freedom of religion, inside the privacy of my own mind. Nobody should be criminalized for thinking and for praying, in a public space in the UK.” 

She added that standing in front of this facility momentarily has been a part of her weekly routine for about 20 years now. When she was shown photos of herself in front of the facility by the police, she said she “might” have been praying but couldn’t confirm it. Sometimes, she prayed; sometimes, her mind was distracted — but if her thoughts had been on non-religious things, would that suddenly have made it okay?

After being released from police custody, a condition of Vaughan-Spruce’s bail included a restriction from praying publicly in other areas, as well; a frightening order from authorities that, in whatever context, she dare not think of God outside her own home. 

While Americans may shrug off this case as too extreme to happen in the United States, we have our own issues that could spiral into such pro-abortion tyranny if we don’t fight back. After all, we are already clearly being discriminated against by our justice system. Law enforcement agencies are refusing to act impartially and treating pro-lifers as second-class citizens as acts of pro-abortion terrorism go unchecked. 

For example, Students for Life Action had a serious gun threat at a recent training event — and guess what the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) did about the threatened domestic terrorism? Not a thing that we have seen. When the media reached out to the FBI for comment, the agency merely said it “was aware of the incident.” Doing something might be a nice use of tax dollars. 

Meanwhile, pro-life Americans are being arrested unfairly as the Department of Justice (DOJ) continues to weaponize the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act. In just this year alone, at least 26 pro-lifers have been charged with violating this law, in which they can face federal prison time for praying at the entrances of abortion vendors. With the potential for arrests like Mark Houck’s looming dangerously alongside pro-life activism, Students for Life of America (SFLA) continues to encourage the Pro-Life Generation to know their rights while also staying well within the law

As pro-lifers here in the United States continue to be treated unfairly and pro-lifers across the pond show us where we could end up, SFLA and SFLAction will continue to call for the objective justice that everyone deserves. Click HERE to learn how you can help.

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