UK pro-lifer interrogated, fined by police for standing silently outside abortion facility – LifeSite

BIRMINGHAM, England (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) — Sebastian Vaughan-Spruce was fined after he stood silently outside an abortion facility in Birmingham, England. SPUC [the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) has condemned the penalty as “extreme, needless and anti-democratic.”

Mr. Vaughan-Spruce was approached by two police community support officers who challenged him as he stood silently on the street.

Responding to the incident later, Mr. Vaughan-Spruce said: “It’s abhorrently wrong that I was interrogated, and issued a penalty, simply for being pro-life and being on a certain public street. Others were present there at the same time, yet I was singled out because of the beliefs I happen to hold.

“We’re told buffer zones are there to prevent harassment – and I firmly believe that nobody should ever be subjected to harassment, which is already illegal. But these regulations are now being misused to punish people for ‘wrong thinking’ in a public space in the UK.”

Several people have been arrested in England and Wales for breaching buffer zones, or Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO), in recent months.

Adam Smith-Connor, a former British Army veteran who served in Afghanistan, awaits trial for praying silently for his dead son outside an abortion facility in Bournemouth.

“I did not approach anyone, I did not speak to anyone, I did not breach anyone’s privacy. I simply stood silently. I am being tried for the prayerful thoughts I held in my head… for a thoughtcrime”, said Smith-Connor.

RELATED: Judge again delays hearing for UK veteran accused of silent prayer near abortion facility

SPUC slams “outrageous persecution” 

SPUC’s Michael Robinson, Executive Director (Public Affairs and Legal Services), said: “The outrageous persecution of pro-life men and women continues in the UK. Hard-won liberties are being thrown out in favour of abortion ideology that now takes precedence over free speech and religious freedom. Thoughtcrime is now a terrifying reality.

“These breaches of human rights, protected under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), are numerous and blatant. In 2022, a Home Office civil servant all but admitted that buffer zones are incompatible with the ECHR.

“MPs must act to ensure that all UK citizens, irrespective of beliefs and religion, can express themselves peacefully without intervention from police authorities. Even now, Scotland is considering totalitarian legislation that could potentially outlaw silent prayer outside abortion facilities – an extreme, needless and anti-democratic precedent to set.

“Just as pro-lifers have a right to pray and offer help to women in crisis pregnancies, women also have the right to hear what they have to say and offer, which could potentially save the life of their child. Why are pro-abortion ideologues so desperate to prevent this?”

RELATED: UK priest charged after silently praying outside abortion facility, holding free speech sign

This article (minus the video) was previously published at Britain’s Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. Republished with permission

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