The annual March for Life assembled in the British capital last Saturday, for the first time since the 2012 revival of a national pro-life witness in the UK. An estimated 4,000 people made this the largest UK March for Life to date.
After a morning of engaging talks and workshops and live music, and an opportunity to visit stalls from the numerous organisations present, pro-lifers took to the streets, marching past 10 Downing Street on the way to Parliament Square, in a joyous witness of the right to life from conception.
Aisling Hubert of the Centre for Bioethical Reform UK spoke at the Grand Connaught Rooms during the Life Fest which preceded the march . Representatives from London Irish United for Life also spoke about the forthcoming referendum.
SPUC’s Dr Anthony McCarthy led a workshop on Abortion Decriminalisation. As part of the talk, which was delivered to a packed room, Dr McCarthy made references to SPUC’s We Care About Women campaign against abortion decriminalisation, and SPUC’s new book Abortion Matters.
Clare McCullough of the Good Counsel Network addressed the crowd in Parliament square, as did Rachel MacKenzie from Rachel’s Vineyard, and a number of mothers from the Be Here for Me campaign, who were helped by the Good Counsel Network.
Good Counsel Network: We are here for women
Speaking to the crowd in Parliament Square, Clare McCullough introduced her organisation as one that has “the dubious honour of having the first Buffer Zone imposed on our vigil”, referring to Ealing Council’s decision to enact a PSPO around a Marie Stopes abortion centre, to facilitate access to the condemned facility. The abortion centre is currently under fire for its “repeated failures” which led to a woman bleeding to death.
Mrs McCullough reminded listeners that the Good Counsel Network is still serving women: “through the other vigils we are at, and through the work of our Counselling Centre, we see many, many women seeking help to avoid abortions they feel coerced into having.”
“I have spoken repeatedly about those who are not entitled to state benefits or housing – large numbers of these women are brought to the abortion centre by circumstances beyond their control and the abortion centre has nothing to offer them but abortion. We are there for them, with housing and financial help and moral and practical support.”
The abortion tide is turning
Commenting on the presence of a group of pro-abortion protesters at the March Mrs McCullough pointed out that “It makes no sense for them to come out to protest our presence here. Here we stand – with the media not on our side, with our Parliament largely not on our side, with our laws totally not on our side. It makes no sense to protest us unless they fear that the abortion tide is already turning.”
Mrs McCullough closed her speech by encouraging attendees to commit to fighting these changes in the law. “The new home secretary Sajid Javid needs letters from everyone here asking him not to bring in National Buffer Zones.”
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“We need to be ready to oppose the decriminalisation of abortion to our own MPs.”
SPUC’s campaign against the decriminalisation of abortion is called We Care About Women.
A weekend of Marches
This weekend also saw several pro-life marches take place in Latin America. Colombia, Peru, Mexico and Brazil collectively saw hundreds of thousands of people march for life on the 5th and 6th of May.
LifeNews Note: Courtesy of SPUC. The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children is a leading pro-life organziation in the United Kingdom. Images courtesy of John Aron)